Colchester to get £4m cash boost

COLCHESTER has “struck gold” after it was awarded more than £4 million to help with regeneration in the area. Last month the Government announced a £5.

COLCHESTER has “struck gold” after it was awarded more than £4 million to help with regeneration in the area.

Last month the Government announced a £5.5 million cash injection for the Haven Gateway Partnership which was set up to promote investment in Colchester, Tendring and Suffolk.

Now further details have emerged of the likely distribution of the money, with Colchester set to take the lion's share of the windfall.

Colchester's money is the highest award for any district council in the country following the “growth point” announcements.

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Of the Colchester money, £2 million will go on riverside improvements at King Edward Quay at the Hythe - an area currently undergoing major regeneration.

And a further £2 million has been allocated towards the access road for the Community Stadium - Colchester United's new home - and employment land at Cuckoo Farm.

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There could also be £50,000 towards developing the landscape plans for the new Berryfield park around the firstsite:newsite building and St Botolph's Priory and another £65,000 towards regeneration in east Colchester.

Robert Davidson, leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “It is great news for Colchester that we have received the highest grant of any local authority in the country.

“Growth Point status means that the Government has agreed to a long term partnership with Colchester which will result in further funding for a range of projects in the future.

“This will ensure that we don't just get the homes we need, but also new parks, employment sites and improved access facilities. This really is a major success for Colchester.”

Brian Jarvis, councillor in charge of regeneration, added: “Colchester is now clearly recognised as a key regional centre by the Government.

“In addition to the announcement of these funds, the status that we now have will mean that other funding partners will be likely to add to the total resources coming into Colchester. We really have struck gold.”

The growth point initiative was launched at the end of last year to provide funding and support for local communities “embracing sustainable growth”, helping provide infrastructure to support development.

The Government hopes the cash will help unlock sites for new housing and employment land and also help fund community facilities that will enhance the local environment.

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