Colchester’s £18.2m Town Deal funding confirmed

PUBLISHED: 11 August 2022

We are Colchester has confirmed that its bid to deliver an ambitious set of projects as part of the Town Deal Fund has been fully supported by the government.

Colchester has been awarded the full £18.2m from the Government’s Town Deal fund to invest in projects that will directly benefit residents across the borough.

Another £1m in Town Deal funding for ‘accelerated' schemes at Balkerne Gate and St Nicholas Square was awarded in September 2020.

The first instalment of £5.8m, for 2022/23, will be directed towards a range of projects developed by engaging residents to identify their priorities. Over 1000 people submitted their views last summer and these were used to refine several projects located across the town.

The list of We Are Colchester projects submitted to the government in June 2021 now set to benefit from the new funding includes:
  • Creation of digital working hubs and grow-on space in the AIXR Centre for Immersive Innovation to be built on the site of the former bus depot in Queen Street
  • Transforming facilities for young people
  • A digital skills hub at the Wilson Marriage Centre (Magdalene Street)
  • Public realm improvements in the town centre, including new public space fronting the housing development at the former Essex County Hospital
  • Restoration of Holy Trinity Church (Lion Walk) and the first phase in restoring ‘Jumbo’
  • Transformation of community facilities in Greenstead
  • The accelerated introduction of 5G infrastructure to enable the delivery of VR tourism initiatives and other options
  • Improved walking and cycling links between the Town Centre, Greenstead and the University, as well as the launch of Essex Pedal Power allowing eligible residents over the age of 12 to apply for a new FREE quality bicycle

We Are Colchester was formed in January 2020 as a dynamic partnership comprising Colchester Borough Council, Essex County Council, local businesses and voluntary organisations, with the aim to develop a long-term vision for unlocking more jobs and prosperity for Colchester.

Councillor David King, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “We are delighted that the government has confirmed ££18.2m of investment in Colchester through the Towns Fund. The money will make a huge impact in improving the future of our soon-to-be city.

“The projects can now progress in earnest, directly addressing priorities identified by the Colchester community. We are keen to continue engagement with residents and businesses, so they remain at the heart of these exciting developments.”

Simon Blaxill, Chair of We are Colchester Board, said: “Today’s funding announcement is fantastic news for Colchester. This significant investment will bolster local businesses, creating and sustaining jobs for the future. I am looking forward to working with the community and local stakeholders to bring forward these exciting projects.”

Cllr Lesley Wagland OBE, Cabinet Member for Economic Renewal, Infrastructure and Planning, said: “The government’s announcement of £18.2m to go into the town improvements for Colchester is excellent news, and Essex County Council is thrilled to partner with Colchester Borough Council on the implementation of these ambitious plans.

“The fund will be vital in investing into Colchester’s vibrant heritage assets, promoting tourism into the economy. This fund has come at the perfect time, following the announcement of Colchester’s well-deserved awarding of city status.”

More information on the Towns Fund can be found here.

Page last reviewed: 11 August 2022


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