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As the town's former port, the Hythe in East Colchester was once a thriving commercial area. Even as late as 1984, 2500 vessels used the port, handling over 1 million tons of cargo. However, as part of a general decline in the use of inland ports, traffic reduced during the late 1990's with many traditional businesses in the area being lost, the area began to decline.

Following the port's closure in 2001, the area was earmarked for regeneration. As part the East Colchester regeneration area plans, 100,000 sq ft has been allocated to commercial space with a view to creating 3500 jobs.

The development of new mixed-use schemes in the area has already provided space for a number of new independent businesses to set up in East Colchester with a new business centre also now open as part of the QV development.

The Council is encouraging the return and relocation of marine based industries to the area along with the redevelopment of under used industrial sites to provide new employment opportunities for the local community.