Council to submit £20m bid for city centre improvements

PUBLISHED: 10 August 2022

A £20m funding bid to support improvements to Colchester’s city centre will be submitted to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

The bid, led by Colchester Borough Council, in partnership with Essex County Council, supports both authorities’ pledge to tackle inequality and boost the local economy.

The focus will be on several high-profile projects to improve the feel of the city centre, attract more visitors and increase footfall by redeveloping the St Botolph’s area, reduce antisocial behaviour, and tackle poor air quality and traffic congestion.

A successful bid will kick-start a series of works to improve public safety and making it easier to walk or cycle into the centre, including a new road layout and removing underpasses. It would also create a new public realm space that helps build a traffic-free route from St Botolph’s Priory to Colchester Castle and Castle Park, while celebrating more of the heritage in the area, and providing a convenient new hub for storing and hiring bikes, e-bikes, e-cargo bikes and e-scooters.

The bid also proposes to complete the existing Town Deal kerbless route from Head Street to Queen Street, and to support businesses to improve shop fronts in the St Botolph’s area.

Cllr David King, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “Colchester is a great place to live and work. However, we know there are areas of inequality and deprivation that we are fully committed to tackling.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to bid for £20m of funding that will support the great work already happening with the Town Centre Masterplan and £18.2m Town Deal projects. Together, they will help deliver a long-term boost to the borough’s economy, create jobs, develop new housing, and improve health outcomes for everyone in Colchester.”

Will Quince, MP for Colchester, who supported the Levelling Up bid application, added: “I am delighted to support this bid for £20m of funding that will build on work already done in the city centre and help regenerate key areas of Colchester, such as St Botolph’s.

“Levelling up is about ensuring that everyone, no matter where they live, has the same life chances as everybody else, and this bid is an integral part of that for Colchester. City centres are changing, and this bid will help ensure that more of Colchester’s heritage and public realm is celebrated and enjoyed by residents, businesses and visitors.”

This Levelling Up Fund bid supports the Town Centre Masterplan and builds on other successful funding bids, including £18.2m Town Deal, the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Inequalities funding from the Health Alliance. All working to help the council tackle inequalities and ensure a thriving town centre for the future.

Once the bid has been submitted, the government will decide whether to grant the project its requested £20m.

Page last reviewed: 10 August 2022


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