Council invites expressions of interest for community-based use of vacant shop unit

PUBLISHED: 24 July 2023

Colchester City Council is seeking community-based organisations and management groups to express their interest in using a vacant shop unit in Greenstead. The unit is located at 5 The Centre, Hawthorn Avenue, and is one of seven council-owned shop units on the ground floor of the parade. The council wants to reserve this unit for community-focused purposes.

As the Greenstead community continues to receive investment, including through the Heart of Greenstead Town Deal investment scheme, the council wants to utilise this commercial property for community-based projects. There are already voluntary sector organisations operating in the area, but some have struggled to find suitable accommodation. This has highlighted the need for more spaces to be made available to the voluntary sector, leading to this expression of interest period.

The property is a ground floor shop with flats above. It has a glass frontage, an electric roller shutter, and a rear door with a manual shutter leading to a backyard and car park. The unit is currently divided into a main sales area, two storerooms, and a toilet, but there is potential for reconfiguration.
The proposed use should not conflict with the other businesses in the parade.

Cllr Natalie Sommers, Colchester City Council Portfolio Holder for Communities: “This is an exciting chance for community-based organisations to secure a valuable asset in the heart of Greenstead. We are looking for groups with a clear vision for how they would use the space to benefit local people.

“This is a chance to create a space that is truly owned and run by the community, a place where people can come together to connect, learn, and grow.

“We encourage all interested organisations to submit an expression of interest before the 18 August deadline.”

Organisations interested in leasing the unit should complete an online questionnaire and submit it, along with any supporting information, by noon on Friday, 18 August 2023. All supporting documents must be sent to

There will be a site viewing on Monday, 31 July and Tuesday, 1 August from 10am to 2pm. This will allow organisations interested in submitting an expression of interest to ask questions. Afterwards, the expressions of interest will be reviewed by a panel. Those who are successful will be invited to present their offer to the panel and address any inquiries. The panel will have the sole discretion to make the final decision on whether to grant a lease.

For further information, please visit the Colchester City Council website or contact Michael Devine on 07966 235247.

For more information on the heart of Greenstead scheme, visit

Page last reviewed: 24 July 2023


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