Date issued: 21 March 2019
Colchester Borough Council’s Revolving Investment Fund Committee has unanimously backed the submission of an ‘expression of interest’ to the Government for a share of the £675 million Future High Streets Fund.
Colchester’s application has been completed by the council, working in partnership with the Colchester Business Improvement District (BID).
The bid will be submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on Friday 22 March.
Councillor Tim Young, Colchester Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture, commented on the Future High Streets application: “This is an exceptionally positive step towards securing the future of central Colchester as an attractive destination for residents, visitors and businesses alike; it should be a vibrant place, full of interesting experiences and encounters to stimulate footfall and investment.”
Councillor Mark Cory, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, added: “This is another great opportunity to further our commitment to a Better Colchester, and to celebrate our heritage through this funding application.”
Sam Good, BID Manager for Colchester, added: “We fully support this application, having been involved in the process from the start, and feel that this is a great opportunity to highlight Colchester’s extensive and unique offering, and to cement our place on the map as a regional destination.”
The application centres around the reinvention of Colchester’s centre to be a regional hub for heritage and culture for the East of England, placing it on the map as an inspiring place to invest in, visit and relocate to, and realise the true economic potential in the region.
With significant investment also being made into new leisure and commercial facilities across Colchester, it is clear the centre itself now needs significant investment, focusing around the following key areas:
- Adding additional attractions and making Colchester a pleasant place to spend time
- Enhancing the centre of Colchester as a residential area
- Utilising heritage and historic assets, which could play a significant role in driving footfall, broadening the appeal and increasing the capacity of the centre
The application also takes into consideration the need to deal with several challenges:
- Crime and perception of crime
- Air quality, traffic congestion and journey-time reliability
- Maintaining the presence of independent stores
The result of the application will be decided by the MHCLG in summer 2019.