Consultants We Made That have been appointed by Colchester Borough Council, in partnership with Essex County Council, to guide the development of Colchester’s Town Centre Masterplan.
We Made That will project manage and lead the consultant team, which also comprises Colchester-based HAT Projects on planning, community and culture, Steer on transport and infrastructure planning, PRD on economics, viability and expert delivery advice, and Authentic Futures providing specialist heritage advice.
The Masterplan for Colchester Town Centre will provide a future vision and plan, identifying key areas of growth, assessing future transport opportunities and a new framework for development that defines opportunities for change and prosperity.
We Made That will be actively engaging with those who live, work, do business and visit the town centre, to advise on an overarching plan, which capitalises on the unique character and heritage of the area and identifies opportunities for future growth.
The public is invited to find out more at an engagement event being held at a Colchester Market stall outside Barclay’s Bank, in the Town Centre, on Saturday, 13 August. An online engagement survey will also be available later this month.
As part of the planning stage, authorities will consider the evolving new ways of working, shopping habits and leisure time. This will include active travel habits, public transport, and access to the town centre from wider Colchester.
Cllr David King, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “We are very proud of how much Colchester’s historic Town Centre already has to offer. This masterplan will establish a shared understanding of the most important strengths of the area, along with the opportunities.
“We will be working with those who use the Town Centre and potential uses to shape the masterplan. The development of opportunities for our city-to-be centre is not an overnight job. It will take a significant investment in time, expertise, patience and money – but we are taking the important first steps.
Councillor Lesley Wagland OBE, Cabinet Member for Economic Renewal, Infrastructure and Planning at Essex County Council, commented: “The appointment of We Made That is another step forward for Colchester’s masterplan. Colchester has a rich heritage, and this funding will be vital in restoring and embracing the newly appointed city’s vibrancy. I look forward to this partnership between Essex County Council, Colchester Borough Council and We Made That taking these ambitious plans forward.”
Holly Lewis, co-founding partner at We Made That, commented: “Our team are delighted to have been appointed for this exciting commission in one of the country’s newest cities, and its first recorded settlement. The richness of Colchester’s heritage is truly unique, and we look forward to bringing both local experience and national expertise on high streets to bear in taking this work forwards.”
The aim is to deliver a comprehensive masterplan document by the end of 2022.