Masterplan updated to reflect residents’ priorities

PUBLISHED: 5 January 2024

An exciting and bold vision for the future of Colchester city centre was unveiled last year, reflecting the input and opinions of over 2,000 local residents.

Team Colchester, a partnership of Essex County Council and Colchester City Council, has released the revised Masterplan for the city centre, which reflects the needs and desires of the community it serves.
Its publication follows an extensive consultation during the summer of 2023, when Team Colchester engaged with the community to gather insights, preferences, ideas, and concerns about the Colchester City Centre Masterplan.

The 2,000 respondents supported plans to boost local businesses and the economy, celebrate Colchester's rich heritage, reduce carbon emissions, and much more.

However, during the consultation, several conversation points arose surrounding the conservation of the River Colne, project timelines, and the preservation of nature, green spaces, and biodiversity. In response to these concerns, the councils have taken action to adjust the Masterplan, as the councils' guiding development framework and vision for the future of the city.
These adjustments include:
  • Strengthened riverside conservation and the management of new green spaces to promote wildlife.
  • A commitment to consult on a dedicated Biodiversity, Ecology, and Nature strategy.
  • The addition of a glossary to enhance clarity.
  • Improved details on proposals and timelines.
Cllr David King, Leader of Colchester City Council, welcomed the changes: “Colchester's City Centre Masterplan represents an exciting opportunity to reimagine the heart of our city. As Team Colchester, we are committed to dialogue, welcoming support, and constructive challenge from those who share our passion for the city. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the thousands of constituents who voiced their opinions. Responding to feedback, we are pleased to adapt the Masterplan and to continue to work collectively to shape the future of our beloved city.”

The Masterplan's framework has already been put into action, with an £11.8 million investment currently underway to redevelop and enhance St Botolph's Circus roundabout to improve accessibility for all. Additional investments nearing £10 million will commence in the coming weeks, marking the beginning of an extensive regeneration process for Colchester city centre.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Leader of Essex County Council, emphasised the collaborative nature of the Masterplan's revision, adding: “This is a golden age for Colchester, and it's been wonderful to involve the entire community in shaping the future for us, our children, and generations to come. The revised Masterplan encompasses the views of numerous residents, incorporating their ideas in many ways. Colchester boasts a proud past, and now it has the green light to embrace an even brighter future.”

The funding for these transformative projects includes £19.6 million from Levelling Up, £2.5 million from Section 106, and £19.2 million from the Town Deal. Together, the funding will contribute to regenerating Balkerne Gate, improving cycling infrastructure, bringing heritage assets back into public use, and much more, enhancing Colchester's city centre.

For more information on the City Centre Masterplan, visit  

Page last reviewed: 5 January 2024


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