Go-ahead for £2.6m Colchester Creative Business Centre

Part of the former police station in Queen Street, Colchester.

Part of the former police station in Queen Street, Colchester. - Credit: Andrew Partridge

A new hub for creative sector businesses in Colchester is expected to lead to the creation of nearly 90 jobs following the approval of £2.6million of council funding.

The Colchester Creative Business Centre project has been given £1.5m by Essex County Council and £1.1m from Colchester Borough Council to cover an initial phase of development.

It is intended to serve as a hub for start-up, small and medium sized creative businesses, providing business support, skills and networking opportunities as well as workspace.

Kevin Bentley, county council cabinet member for economic growth and infrastructure, said: “This is a great development for the growing creative, digital industry in Colchester. It should lead to 89 new jobs in the centre alone in the first three years,– and we have calculated that each of these jobs supports a further 45 in the in the economy.”

Anne Turrell, portfolio holder for economic growth and regeneration at Colchester council, added: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Essex County Council to bring forward plans for the Creative Business Centre. Colchester is home to a significant number of creative businesses, which generate jobs and investment that regenerates the local area.

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“The development of the centre will reinforce Colchester’s status as a real hub for the creative sector. It will offer businesses the support and resources required for them to grow and flourish.”

The centre will be based in the former police station in Queen Street, in the St Botolph’s area of Colchester. The first phase will involve renovating a three-storey annex at the back of the building to create 22 workspace units along with networking and training areas.

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Some £950,000 of funding is already being sought for phase two, which will see the main ground floor and two upper floors of the front of the main building also brought back into use.

Colchester has the strongest cluster of creative industries in Essex with about 1,300 creative enterprises, accounting for 18% of all businesses in the borough and employing over 5,600 people.

The creative sector in Colchester has been highlighted in Essex County Council’s Essex Means Business campaign, which showcases innovation, skills and entrepreneurship in the county.

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