Turnstone Estates’ £65 million leisure development in Colchester has added two drive-thru restaurants to its line-up of operators and signed a new contract with Cineworld and Travelodge for facilities. This is a major boost for the scheme which will deliver 200,000 sq ft of leisure space as part of Colchester Borough Council’s Northern Gateway.
Cineworld has expanded its commitment to Colchester and will now open a 12-screen cinema (with Superscreen and 4DX) plus an enlarged foyer to include their Starbucks concession. Likewise, Travelodge have increased the size of their hotel from 80 to 90 beds. Popular bakery brand Greggs and American fast-food chain Wendy’s will each be opening a drive-thru restaurant. Wendy’s has recently made an exciting comeback to the UK market with a new restaurant in Reading and nationwide expansion plans.
Turnstone Estates has also agreed terms with Fastned for eight high-power electric vehicle charging bays alongside the drive thrus, complete with iconic solar canopy.
Leases have previously been agreed with Hollywood Bowl for a 20-lane bowling alley and Puttstars for an indoor golf centre. Jump Street will be opening a climbing centre. The scheme also includes seven restaurants, a high-quality, landscaped piazza and parking for 750 cars
Planning approval for the 200,000 sq ft leisure development, located south of Junction 28 of the A12, was granted by Colchester Borough Council in December 2020.
Chris Goldsmith, Managing Director of Turnstone Estates, said: “These signings reflect occupational demand for this state-of-the art leisure scheme. Despite the recent pandemic which created uncertainty in the sector, we are delighted to welcome Wendy’s, Fastned and Greggs to the line-up and accommodate a larger offering from Cineworld and Travelodge. We expect to announce other lettings and a contractor shortly and start work on site in the New Year.”
Kevin Frost, Property Director Cineworld UK commented: “Our new cinema will feature state of the art technology aimed at providing an excellent viewer experience. The response to the launch of the latest Bond movie highlights that the general public still crave for the big screen.”
Travelodge's UK Development Director, Tony O'Brien, commented: "Travelodge is delighted to be part of this exciting, new leisure development. The site is in a perfect location to serve both Colchester and the wider area, via the adjacent A12.
“Colchester has a real shortage of good value, branded budget hotels and this location and the fantastic leisure amenities will make it a brilliant place to stay, for leisure and business customers visiting the area.
“The new Travelodge will be developed to our latest brand standards, with comfort cooling, LED lighting and a Bar Cafe facility and will be Travelodge's first hotel in the town."
Councillor Sue Lissimore, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “We are delighted that these brands are committed to coming to Colchester, in what promises to be an exciting development.
This progress furthers our ambition to transform the Northern Gateway into a hub for improved wellbeing, physical activity, jobs, housing and renewable energy. It is a key part of our commitment to boosting the local economy and helping our borough recover following the impact of Covid-19.”
The Turnstone scheme for the Northern Gateway Leisure Park forms part of a wider development delivered by Colchester Borough Council and its Colchester Amphora companies that also includes the recently opened Northern Gateway Sports Park and the forthcoming 350 new homes, healthcare hub , and 45,100 sqm of commercial floorspace, that will benefit from a carbon-reduction District Heat Network, using natural energy, and an integral digital network providing ultra-fast broadband to local homes and businesses.
Turnstone is advised by Whybrow and Wareing and Partners. Savills acted for Wendy; Stephen Kane & Co for Greggs and Carter Jonas for Travelodge.