Date issued: 7 October 2019
The St Botolph’s Priory consultation, on how the site could be better used, found that residents’ top three priorities for the area are more events, security and lighting the priory at night.
Colchester Borough Council ran the public consultation, from 27 June to 21 September, to find out how the Priory and surrounding green space could be better used throughout the year.
Responses from 358 residents were received from the initial survey and then the top suggestions from these were then voted on at the St Botolph’s Open Day & Market event held on 21 September. The outcome was that most Colchester residents said that seeing more events was their top priority for the site; closely followed by security and lighting the priory at night.
Residents also suggested ideas for events that they would like to see at the site. Open air cinema/theatre came up as the most popular, closely followed by food and craft markets.
Cllr Mike Lilley, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: “It’s great to see all the positive responses to this consultation. Putting on more events will hopefully increase footfall within the priory and support the work we are doing to tackle anti-social behaviour. Over 1,000 people enjoyed the Open Day and Market held earlier this month and we’re already in early discussions with groups for events that we hope to host in 2020.”
Security was introduced to the priory this summer and feedback has confirmed that it has made a real difference. The council took the decision earlier this month to extend it throughout October and it is planned to start again in spring 2020 and continue throughout the summer period.
Cllr Lilley added: “We are in the process of installing a CCTV camera and looking into the cost of lighting the priory at night. I look forward to seeing these and the event ideas move forward, supporting our ongoing work to reduce anti-social behaviour at the priory, to help make a Better Colchester.”