Cinema, bowling, golf and more planned for huge leisure complex
- Credit: Archant
New plans for a huge leisure complex for Colchester including a Cineworld cinema have been unveiled.
Developer Turnstone Estates has submitted a new blueprint for a 200,000sq ft Northern Gateway leisure facility.
The site – set for completion in 2022/23 – now includes a 12-screen Cineworld cinema with Superscreen and 4DX, a Hollywood Bowl bowling alley, a Putt Stars indoor golf centre, a Jump Street run climbing centre, seven restaurants, two drive-thru restaurants and a 90-bed hotel.
MORE – Government hands cash boost to “shovel-ready” projects in SuffolkAs well as parking for 750 cars, the scheme will also include eight electric car rapid charging points.
Colchester Borough Councillor David King – who is portfolio holder for business and resources – said the council “warmly welcomed” the revised plans.
“They represent an exciting and significant step forward in the development of a project that will bring some fantastic new leisure facilities as well as more hugely valuable new jobs and investment into Colchester,” he said.
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“It shows again the confidence of others in Colchester’s future as a great place to live, work and visit.”
Colchester Northern Gateway got the go-ahead in 2018, but Turnstone has incorporated some changes it says will “improve the overall customer offer and respond to a changed and changing marketplace”.
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Turnstone managing director Chris Goldsmith said he was upbeat – in spite of the coronavirus crisis.
“Despite the current uncertainty around the leisure sector, we have been buoyed by the continued level of occupational demand for Northern Gateway,” he said.
“Our revised plans will help to deliver an exciting, state-of-the-art leisure development for Colchester in a post-Covid environment.”
Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd (CATL), the council’s commercial trading company, is project managing the gateway scheme which also includes up to 350 new homes, healthcare provision with older persons accommodation, and up to 55,700sq m of commercial floorspace.
Council leader Mark Cory said the joint council and private sector project would bring “major benefits” to Colchester.
“It is a real boost for our economy at this difficult time. This project is a great example of how the council is using its assets to provide a whole new entertainment and leisure complex for residents and visitors to enjoy, while ensuring it brings in money for the council to help pay for frontline services.”
The council is working with Turnstone and other developers involved in the wider Northern Gateway project, which includes the new sports park north of the A12 and a healthcare campus to the south.
The project is expected to generate hundreds of new jobs.
Subject to approval, work will start early next year.
Turnstone was founded by Chris Goldsmith in 1989. Tim Deacon joined the company, which remains privately owned, in 2011.