Expression of Interest invitation for Abbey Field Community Centre

About the Expression of Interest invitation

Colchester Borough Council would like to hear from community-based organisations, businesses or groups from across the borough and beyond, who are interested in taking over management of the Abbey Field Community Centre.

The spacious and well-connected property, formally the Garrison Gym, is located at Circular Road South in the heart of Colchester's Garrison and Shrub End communities. It will become available from January 2021 to lease for up to 25 years. The property is currently occupied by The Mercury Theatre.

The impressive former gymnasium building, which dates back to 1860, was once owned by the Ministry of Defence and was transferred to Colchester Borough Council in 2010 as a benefit to all Colchester residents.

It underwent an extensive restoration programme in 2013 and is now suitable for a range of purposes including community meetings, activities and conferences, childcare and nursery provision, skills training and education classes, social, cultural and leisure activities and medical and health facilities.

The fully accessible building can cater for up to 220 people whether together in one space or within smaller zones. The facility provides:

  • approximately 649 sqm of utility space
  • a semi-sprung floor in the large main hall
  • a fully functional kitchen with a serving hatch into the main hall
  • a dedicated delivery road
  • electricity, gas and water supplies
  • 28 car parking spaces (including 3 disability spaces)
  • a 28sqm ground floor office provision
  • 48sqm first floor space overlooking the main hall
  • Gigabit broadband connectivity

Colchester Borough Council will grant a lease of the premises at a peppercorn rent, with the future tenant required to carry out all necessary repairs and maintenance throughout the term of the lease.

Page last reviewed: 5 October 2020