Skip navigation

Changing Colchester after dark

Like so many town centres around the country, Colchester suffers from a perception that in the evening, it can feel unwelcoming to some people. Colchester has also received unfair media coverage in recent years, but great efforts are being made to deliver real change.

High Street after dark

The evening and nigh-time economy is vital to Colchester's economy, generating an estimated £55 million for local businesses a year, and employing more than 3,000 people. Colchester at night offers a wide range of restaurants, bars, clubs, the Mercury Theatre and many live music venues. Colchester now has Purple Flag accreditation, an award recognising it as a safe and well-managed evening destination.


Strong support:  Many groups and partnerships have a role to play. Essex Police in partnership with the Community Safety Partnership works together to make the town centre safer. This group brings together Colchester Borough Council (CBC)/Police Licensing, CBC Street Services, Transport, Club/Pub Watch, CBC Anti-Social Behaviour Team, CBC Environmental Services, Neighbourhood Action Panel, Neighbourhood Watch and Resident Groups.  2012 saw changes to national Licensing legislation. This is an opportunity to manage the night-time economy more closely in partnership with the Police

Purple Flag logo Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

In order to understand the dynamics in more detail research on Colchester's night time economy (2012) is available here pdf icon Colchester Night Time Economy & Perception Research July 2012 [ [916kb]This informaton informed the town's application for Purple Flag accreditation for Colchester's night-time economy. Purple Flag status recognises well-managed town centres at night.  Colchester was awarded Purple Flag status in April 2013. This was renewed in 2014 and the application is being prepared for 2015. 

SOS bus close up



SOS Bus. Launched in 2008, the SOS Bus provides a town centre night-time medical support and practical help for any vulnerable person who needs, practical assistance, care, first aid and support.

Street Pastors





Street Pastors. Launched in 2007 this is just one way in which the churches of Colchester are working together with other partner organisations to help people in town when they need it most. The Pastors are on the streets in the town centre to offer practical help or just someone to chat to.



Policing focus: Essex Police are making Colchester town centre a priority for crime reduction. With more Police on the ground and providing the lead for other interested partners, Essex Police are encouraging new ways of thinking to deliver a safer, more welcoming town centre.

Ambitious Plans. Colchester has commissioned plans to help provide a focus for development over the coming years. A Public Realm Strategy, a Street Care Strategy and a Lighting Strategy are all being used to ensure Colchester feels right and is a pleasure to visit.



Powered by GOSS iCM
©  Colchester Borough Council, Rowan House, 33 Sheepen Road, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3WG