Colchester's £25 million Town Deal bid submitted

Colchester's £25 million Town Deal bid submitted

A multi-million-pound bid by We Are Colchester to fund several projects around the town has been submitted to the Government.

At the start of 2020, Colchester was chosen as one of 101 towns across the country that could apply for up to £25 million from the Government’s Town Deal Fund.

Over 1000 individuals, groups and businesses submitted their views on how Colchester can be improved following a successful bid. These ideas were developed into several projects under the broad themes of how we live, grow, and connect. The bid to fund these projects has now been submitted by the We Are Colchester Board.

We Are Colchester is a dynamic partnership involving public, private and voluntary organisations that was formed in January 2020.

Board Chair and local businessman, Simon Blaxill, said: “I believe that we have submitted a very strong bid for this money. The list of projects chosen, will make a long lasting, positive difference to our town.

“They will promote skills development, create jobs for local people, make our communities more attractive and with better facilities. The Town Deal provides Colchester with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make our town an even better place to live, work and visit.”

The list of projects includes:

  • The creation of digital work hubs
  • Transforming facilities for young people
  • A digital skills hub at the Wilson Marriage Centre (Magdalene Street)
  • Public realm improvements in the town centre
  • Restoration of 1000 year old Holy Trinity Church and the first phase in restoring our iconic Victorian water tower ‘Jumbo’
  • Transformation of community facilities in Greenstead
  • The accelerated introduction of 5G
  • Improved walking and cycling links across the town.

Cllr David King, Colchester Council Portfolio Holder for Business and Resources, who also Chairs the We Are Colchester Advisory Group, added: “We have already secured £1M.  If successful, this further £25 million bid will enable big improvements to be made across the whole town. Our public consultations showed that people want Colchester to be ‘greener’, to provide greater opportunities for young people and to make it easier for people to walk and cycle.

“Local people want the town to be made more attractive and for improvements to be made to infrastructure. The projects that We Are Colchester have submitted to the Government address all these issues.

“With the help of other investors, we can make a huge difference to residents and help businesses and those they employ at this difficult time to have confidence in Colchester’s future, as a great place to live, work and visit’.

Cllr Tony Ball, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and We Are Colchester Board Member said, “The investment proposed as part of Town Deal submission to Government provides a great opportunity for sustainable economic growth in Colchester and its surrounding area.

“We have established a bold vision that will help the town to embrace the future, with a strong package of investment programmes and projects around active travel, employment and skills, regeneration, young people, heritage and culture.

“We look forward to continuing the work with the community, local stakeholders, Colchester Borough Council and Central Government to take forward the Town Deal bid and the many opportunities it offers.”

We Are Colchester expects to hear before February 2021 whether it has been successful in getting all or part of the money.