Colchester City Status

We have an important past, a confident present and a bold future, which is why Colchester has been granted city status as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations. 

The Council was formally presented with Letters Patent which officially marked us becoming a city on 23 November 2022.  

Year of Celebration 

A series of celebratory events are planned to mark the first year of Colchester being named a modern city, as everyone comes together for The Year of Celebration.  

Throughout 2023 there will be a programme of fantastic events taking place across the city centre and surrounding towns and villages, enabling residents, visitors and businesses to come together to celebrate becoming a city once more.  

From a blockbuster exhibition, Gladiators; A Day at the Roman Games at Colchester Castle, to Big Women at Firstsite, to the Colchester Siege Spectacular, an epic re-enactment of the Siege of Colchester in the summer of 2023, to incredible art, performance and live music, great outdoor events and seasonal celebrations, there is something for everyone to enjoy all year long.  

Discover the full programme of events taking place on the Visit Colchester website - events are being added throughout the year so check back regularly. 

Get involved in the Year of Celebration 

If you are an event organiser, business, organisation or charity, you can get involved too. The Year of Celebration is not just about events, it's also about celebrating:

  • all the great things we have in Colchester  
  •  the opportunity City Status brings  
  • supporting businesses to recover and thrive  
  • attracting new investment to Colchester  
  • attracting more visitors to Colchester  
  • engagement with young people  
  • being proud of Colchester

It is easy to get involved. Email for a copy of the Year of Celebration free marketing toolkit to get you started.  
The toolkit includes: 

  • Year of Celebration stamp - we can also create you a bespoke stamp for your event or organisation/company 
  • Year of Celebration skyline graphic 
  • social media images 
  • poster templates 
  • website banner and graphics 

Let’s join together to celebrate The City of Colchester.

Follow #TheCityOfColchester on social media to keep up to date with the latest news and events.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Your Questions 

What are the benefits of Colchester becoming a city? 

There will be many benefits to Colchester becoming a city, some of these include: 

  • Attracting more visitors, which in turn, means more people spending money in our shops, businesses, attractions, restaurants, cafes and bars. 

  • Attracting businesses to make Colchester their home, increasing economic investment and creating new jobs. 

  • Likely to create greater levels of investment and funding opportunities for key projects. 

  • Gaining a stronger voice in shaping both the local, regional, and national agenda to get more of what Colchester deserves and to support the delivery of residents’ priorities. 

Read more on our City Status Bid, including ten reasons why Colchester should be a city. 

Will the character of Colchester change as a city? 

Colchester is shaped by the people and communities that live and work here. Getting city status will not change that. Many are rightly proud of our tradition as a market town, and our identity of Britain’s First City will feature strongly for many years to come. We hope that city status will deepen the sense of civic and public pride in what it means to come from Colchester.  

Will council tax and business rates go up as a city? 

Becoming a city does not lead to increases in council tax or tax or business rates. 

Will city status mean the council automatically gets more funding to invest in Colchester? 

Becoming a city does not provide a financial investment in itself but it could open the door to more funding opportunities. 

Will the council change its name? 

Names will change over time to reflect Colchester as a city but it will be done in a cost effective way. For example, Colchester Borough Council will change its legal title and be known as Colchester City Council from 23 November 2022. The change will be made first on things that are quick, easy and cost effective like the Council website and social media channels. Other changes will be made over time as things expire or need re-ordering. 

What area will be included in the city? 

All of the area which currently comprises the Borough of Colchester will become part of the City of Colchester. This includes the rural areas as well as the centre of Colchester. 

Page last reviewed: 4 July 2023


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