Colchester's 2020 vision
MOVERS and shakers in Colchester have taken their vision of the town's future to the hearts and minds of the upcoming generation.More than 100 schoolchildren from across the borough visited the Odeon Cinema to see a film Premiere about Colchester – 17 years from now.
By Roddy Ashworth
MOVERS and shakers in Colchester have taken their vision of the town's future to the hearts and minds of the upcoming generation.
More than 100 schoolchildren from across the borough visited the Odeon Cinema to see a film Premiere about Colchester – 17 years from now.
With all the glitz of a Hollywood awards ceremony, VIPs arrived in limousines and the red carpet was laid out for school-age dignitaries.
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As the lights went down youngsters watched as the specially commissioned fantasy took them on a journey through Britain's oldest town in the year 2020.
Major changes to be seen between now and then were highlighted as the short animated film gave a tour of the new home for Colchester United, a community stadium near the Cuckoo Farm development.
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This was followed by a flying visit to the University of Essex, where the proposed Research Park had been built and already gained a world-wide reputation for innovation and excellence.
Meanwhile near St Botolph's, a new internationally-renowned visual arts centre – currently at the planning stage – was playing host to work by a famous local Young British Artist .
After watching the film and munching free Popcorn, many children said they were impressed, entertained and inspired by the way Colchester's possible future had been put across.
Tim Dorsett, 15, from Thurstable School in Tiptree, said he was interested to see a vision of the town's future.
"It was nice to see what they think it's going to look like," he said.
"The film was quite good, especially considering it was for younger children. It got you all involved but it didn't bore you. It was a good idea having people from all the schools coming to watch it."
Rachel Norman, also 15, from the Gilberd School in Colchester, said the film made the future of Colchester look exciting.
"I am looking forward to seeing it done. It's the way it's going to be all modern. There will be more things for people of my age to do.
"The football ground looks brilliant. I'm a football fan. I've been to see Colchester United, but I support Arsenal. This has made me want to stay here."
She added: "The only problem is lots of people will want to live here and the houses will be really hard to find and expensive."
COLCHESTER 2020 MEMBERS
Tony Barton, Garrison commander
Ivor Crewe, University of Essex vice chancellor
David Crozier, Essex Chambers of Commerce chief executive
Jo Edwards, Colchester Federation of Residents Association chair
Dee Evans, Mercury Theatre chief executive
Jane Gardner, Essex County Council areas co-ordinator
Andrea Hill, Colchester Borough Council chief executive
John Jowers, Colchester Borough Council Conservative group leader
Jeremy Lucas, Essex County Councillor for Drury division
Dave Murthwaite, Essex Police, Colchester divisional commander
Brendan Osbourne, Colchester Primary Care Trust chief executive
Mike Pollard, Essex Rivers Healthcare Trust chief executive