Placing the City of Colchester on the map

PUBLISHED: 6 March 2024

Date issued: 6 March 2024 


Colchester isn't just a city; it's a thriving economic powerhouse on the verge of something remarkable. With over £330 million already invested by the private and public sectors over the last few years, the city is primed for more investment. 


This positive message, amongst others, will be discussed at the Council’s Scrutiny Panel on Tuesday 12 March as they review a City Status report, showcasing activity over the last year, since gaining modern city status. 


The report highlights the £40 million that is being spent from the Government's two flagship regeneration programmes on projects being delivered now and over the coming years. This is complemented by over £50 million from the private sector in installing leading edge digital infrastructure. Which will help employment and new businesses to start up, and others to compete more effectively. 


It also reaffirms the Council’s, and its partners, commitment to helping the city grow and prosper. The Council is working with a wide range of partners, organisations, and business leaders from across Colchester through the ‘Place Colchester Group. Led by the Our Colchester Business Improvement District (BID) they are looking at how Colchester is marketed to and for business. Harnessing the power of partnership working at its best to ensure Colchester remains a thriving place where its businesses and its residents can realise their true potential. 


Sam Good, Chief Executive of Colchester’s Business Improvement District (BID), said: "Colchester truly is an exciting place to be. What excites me the most is that Colchester has a raft of opportunities in its grasp with the awarding of City status being one of these. Since this announcement, we have continued our communications with both large and small businesses about their business growth and understanding whether Colchester can be a part of that growth plan. Most have heard of Colchester; some know about its history and capabilities but almost all of them leave the conversation understanding that Colchester is a fantastic place to consider growing their business however large or small.  


City status has given the place a sense of pride and ambition which is translating to those visiting and businesses that may have never considered Colchester before. To achieve real success with inward investment, it must be joined up otherwise businesses face needless barriers. We have continued conversations with business leaders and public authority about how we prevent these barriers from preventing investment. We absolutely must be ambitious in our approach, be bold in our drive to succeed and stop this persistence of copying or comparing to other places. Colchester is unique, it's a one off so let’s own it!" 


Dr Rob Singh, Director of the Research and Enterprise Office at the University of Essex formed part of the working group for the Place Strategy, said: “We think Colchester is a special place with a unique history and so many opportunities emerging for the future through technology and innovation. Harnessing our international partnerships and networks, through the University of Essex, Visit England and many other partner businesses and organisations, will help us to continue to raise the profile of the city and support us to build new connections. Most importantly, by working together and being ambitious about our vision for Colchester, we can promote the City to businesses looking for the right place to invest in. This all supports our shared efforts to create jobs, nurture new sectors and support Colchester’s efforts to become a leading ‘Tech City’.” 


This work builds on the foundation or Colchester’s strengths and Colchester City Council’s Strategic Plan 2023-26, which was based on residents feedback from the Future of Colchester Survey in 2022. The Plan brings to life what Colchester residents feel is important and what should be focussed on and supporting businesses is a big part of that. 


Cllr David King, Leader of Colchester City Council, said: “We have a shared passion for our city, and welcome those who want live, work, and invest here. Working with our partners will ensure Colchester is firmly on the map. By pooling our resources, ideas and ambition, we can continue to prosper. To help us improve our prospects, to deliver a thriving economy, thriving communities and a thriving cultural and economic offer. 

Page last reviewed: 6 March 2024


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