£65 million in funding secured for Colchester Northern Gateway leisure park

The main entrance of the planned Colchester Northern Gateway leisure park

A drawing of the main entrance of the planned Colchester Northern Gateway leisure park - Credit: Turnstone Estates

Funding has been secured for a leisure park north of Colchester, which will have a 12-screen cinema, mini golf and a bowling alley. 

The funds will be supplied by Canada Life,  an insurance and asset management company, and as part of the deal Colchester Borough Council will take an overriding lease on the scheme. 

The council will also have the option to buy the leisure centre for £1 at the end of the lease, in 35 years. 

Chris Goldsmith, of Turnstone Estates, said: “This is a really positive milestone for the new leisure development.

"We have signed some fantastic operators and with work about to start on site, we look forward to the scheme opening in autumn 2023.”

Michael White, head of property at Canada Life Asset Management, said: “Northern Gateway Leisure Park is an exciting project that will serve an expanding catchment population and meets our objective to provide long-term finance for high quality development backed by local authorities in support of community enhancement plans.”

Cllr Sue Lissimore, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “The funding of this much anticipated leisure amenity is tremendous news not only for the project itself but also the wider Northern Gateway development.”

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The 200,000 sq. ft leisure park will be located to the south of junction 28 of the A12, to the north of Colchester. 

It will have a 12-screen cinema, a 90-bed Travelodge a drive through Greggs, and one of the first Wendy's to come to the UK.

In addition to this, there will be a Hollywood Bowl bowling alley, a Puttstars indoor golf centre and and a Jump Street Climbing centre. 

The park will also have seven other restaurants set around a landscaped piazza, electric vehicle charging points and 750 parking spaces. 

Colchester Borough Council said: "The Turnstone Estates’ scheme for the Northern Gateway Leisure Park forms part of a wider development delivered by Colchester Borough Council and its Colchester Amphora companies that also includes the recently opened Northern Gateway Sports Park and the forthcoming 350 new homes, healthcare hub, and 45,100 sqm of commercial floorspace.

"The whole development will benefit from an integral digital network providing ultra-fast broadband to local homes and businesses."