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New things to see, do and visit

More than 5.1 million trips are made to Colchester by visitors every year, with tourism contributing to more than £258m to the economy and supporting more than 5,760 jobs in the Borough (source: Cambridge Model 2013). The hotels and hospitality sectors are among the fastest growing of Colchester's economy.

A new video for Promoting Colchester has recently been launched: 

Read on to find out more about what's happening ...Interior of the Castle Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Colchester's most important historical and architectural attraction re-opened to the public in May 2014 following a 15-month, £4.2 million redevelopment programme. The restoration included repairs to the building, as well as the installation of state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, greatly enhancing the visitor experience. The history of this unique building is told in a fresh and dramatic way. For more information please visit

Colchester's much-loved, high-end High Street department store, Williams & Griffin, continues its £30m expansion plans during 2015. Floorspace will be increased by 50%, with the expansion project due for completion in early 2016.    For more information please visit

firstsite on a sunny day


Firstsite traces its history back to 1994, when it was established as a creative organisation focused on an innovative programme of exhibitions and professional development for artists. Firstsite is now homed in a new iconic building in the historical town centre, which was selected from more than 100 entries from around the world. The building was designed by the Uruguayan architect Rafael Vinoly, whose company also produced the completed master plan for the redevelopment of the Battersea Power Station in London. The building incorporates many unique construction styles and techniques, and sits on scheduled ancient monument land.

Having had a difficult start, Firstsite is proving increasingly popular by developing its range of activities and exhibitions. It is the first gallery in the country to have performance artists running its café.

The display facilities inside the building, including the auditorium, are unique in the East of England. For more information please visit

New playground in Castle Park


Castle Park  Refurbishment of the children's play area was completed in spring 2011. Local organisations are helping to maintain Castle Park. The Sensory Garden, designed to stimulate the senses through the original use of colour and aroma, has also been enhanced with the planting of new trees and shrubs. Castle Park hosts many events, fairs and festivals every year, with the music and food festivals proving especially popular with residents and guests alike.  For the latest information about what's on please visit the official Colchester tourism website:


St Botolphs Quarter  The St Botolph's regeneration and redevelopment plans will see some £35 million of direct investment by 2020. The redevelopment of the upper part of the St Botolph's quarter by Building Partnerships Ltd and Corinthian Curzon will transform the 3.5 acres forming the area. The project will bring the construction of new footpaths and cycle routes linking Colchester Town station and St Botolph's Priory to East Hill and through to Culver Street East, Priory Walk and Short Wyre Street. Building Partnerships Ltd will lead the redevelopment of the former bus station and adjacent buildings to form an attractive leisure quarter with better public access, complementing the new Curzon cinema and the Creative Business Centre. The project will include student residential accommodation, new restaurants, new connections to Firstsite and a new public park known as Berryfields. Corinthian Curzon will turn Roman House (the former 'Keddies' department store) into a 3-screen boutique cinema and high-quality restaurants. This will be the first Curzon cinema in the East of England, strongly boosting Colchester's wider attractiveness as a regional centre of arts and culture. Work to convert the old police station (37 Queen Street) into a state-of-the-art Creative Business Centre began in November 2015. The respected construction firm Phelan, based in Clacton, and the London-based architect Ash Sakula, are the Council's main partners in this major building project. 





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