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September – the month that Colchester becomes a city – is going to be busy! Great festivals, new exhibitions and a week of Heritage Open Days will kick off a year of civic and community celebration.
Colchester will officially become a city on Monday, 12 September when the Queen’s Letters Patent – her written order approving city status for Colchester – is presented to a special Colchester Borough Council Full Council meeting.
The historic ceremony starts at 5:30pm, with a civic procession of dignitaries and councillors led by the Town Serjeant and Colchester Pipes and Drums. The public will be able to watch the procession, escorted by the Town Watch, as it moves along High Street to the Town Hall, where the Town Crier will deliver a proclamation. They will process into the Council Chamber for a formal robed meeting of the Full Council at 6pm – the last time members will sit as a Borough Council.
Colchester will then become the 76th city in England and the third in Essex, alongside Chelmsford and Southend.
The 12 September will also mark the start of a year of celebration – celebrating city status for a full twelve months! September’s events will spread across the new city from Castle Park and Firstsite, to the top of Jumbo and beyond.
Leader of Colchester Borough Council, David King, said: “This year is all about how we celebrate, create and connect. The new City of Colchester will be welcoming, diverse city and a dynamic one, shaped by our many communities. We will be asking them how they want to celebrate Colchester over the year ahead.’
Cllr Pam Cox, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Culture and Heritage, added: “These events show what our new city of Colchester has to offer. The council’s aim this year is to bring all these great efforts together to show that we are a city of culture, compassion and creativity. They show how much there is to celebrate in Colchester.”
All these events are made possible through partnerships. Colchester Council is supporting September events in Castle Park including the EcoFestival on 3 September and the Anti-Loo Roll Festival on 10 September.
Colchester Museums also celebrates this year’s Heritage Open Days from 10-18 September, where the public will be able to explore Cannock Mill in Old Heath, the Munnings Art Museum in Dedham, the Roman Theatre, the Roman Circus, the Abbey Gateway, Colchester Castle and more. Those who have secured pre-advance tickets will take a trip inside Jumbo water tower, with more opportunities in the pipeline.
In celebration, Colchester’s Business Improvement District (BID) will be launching a social media campaign called ‘This City is Colchester’ on 12 September, showcasing our city centre and its fantastic offer to residents and visitors, whilst also supporting local businesses. Find out more about Colchester BID at incolchester.co.uk and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using @InColchester.
Sam Good, Business Improvement District (BID) Manager for Our Colchester BID, said: “We’re delighted to be able to share in the celebration of this historic moment and showcase the extensive and unique offering that makes our city centre such an appealing place to visit as both a local and regional destination.
“City status is recognition of what a great place Colchester is to live, work and visit, and we have a real community of businesses within the city centre that helps drive the civic pride that makes our city great.”
Follow Colchester Council on social media to join in the city celebrations on City Day and throughout the year, Twitter @YourColchester Facebook /EnjoyColchester and Instagram @BetterColchester.
Page last reviewed: 1 September 2022
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