City status will 'open doors and bring economic benefits' to Colchester

Dignitaries are 'delighted' that Colchester has been granted city status

Dignitaries are 'delighted' that Colchester has been granted city status - Credit: CBC/Rodger Tamblyn

The decision to award Colchester city status has been greeted with delight by business and theatre chiefs, councillors and the local MP, who hailed the economic benefits the prestigious honour will bring to the area. 

The ancient Roman city- believed to be Britain’s oldest recorded settlement- was named as one of eight new cities across the UK as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. 

And local dignitaries have welcomed the honour, believing it will raise Colchester’s national profile and attract investment to boost the local economy, as well as opening up opportunities for local people. 

Colchester MP Will Quince said the city's 'dynamic economy will reach new heights.'

Colchester MP Will Quince said the city's 'dynamic economy will reach new heights.' - Credit: Archant

Colchester MP Will Quince said: “It is an immense honour for Her Majesty The Queen to have granted Colchester city status. 

“This will mean that our dynamic economy, nationally recognised award-winning cultural and heritage assets and internationally renowned university can reach new heights.  

“Colchester is dynamic, diverse and open for business. We can all share pride in this honour.” 

Mayor of Colchester Robert Davidson hoped the news would open up new opportunities for local people

Mayor of Colchester Robert Davidson hoped the news would open up new opportunities for local people - Credit: Archant

Mayor Cllr Robert Davidson said: “On behalf of everyone in Colchester, I would like to thank Her Majesty for this wonderful honour in her Platinum Jubilee year.  

“I would also like to pay tribute to everyone who backed Colchester’s bid, including HM Lord Lieutenant of Essex Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, and all those who worked so hard to make city status a reality in this extraordinary year. 

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“We hope this wonderful announcement will offer new opportunities for local people and provide a bright future for generations to come.” 

Cllr David King, leader elect of Colchester Borough Council, said: “This is truly great news. A defining moment in the long history of our borough that will raise our national profile and attract the kinds of inward investment that is only open to cities.  

“With city status comes more opportunities to boost the local economy, create even greater social opportunities, and promote our rich heritage and culture, to the benefit of all our residents.” 

The council’s We Are Colchester initiative provides support for local businesses to grow the local economy as part of an £18.2m ‘Town Deal’ grant provided by the Government. 

Simon Blaxill, chair of We are Colchester, said city status was 'a recognition of what a great place Colchester is'

Simon Blaxill, chair of We are Colchester, said city status was 'a recognition of what a great place Colchester is' - Credit: Andrew Partridge

The initiative’s chair Simon Blaxill said: “City status is recognition of what a great place Colchester is to live and work.” 

Steve Mannix, executive director of The Mercury theatre, said the award showed Colchester was a ‘vibrant centre for culture, heritage and community spirit.’ 

He said: “All of us here at the Mercury are delighted that Colchester has finally gained the great honour of receiving city status.” 

Steve Mannix, executive director of Mercury Theatre, said Colchester was a 'vibrant centre for culture and heritage.'

Steve Mannix, executive director of Mercury Theatre, said Colchester was a 'vibrant centre for culture and heritage.' - Credit: Simply C Photography