We have been commissioned by Colchester Borough Council to develop design proposals to improve the public realm in Colchester Town Centre. Our proposals will centre around two key areas in the town, and we will also be producing a design guidance for future improvements, based on our research. We are working in collaboration with a wide range of local stakeholders to develop a consensus around proposals that provide the quality public spaces that the town deserves, highlighting the rich cultural and historical heritage, while prioritising places for people.
The two spaces include the area between 'Jumbo', the dramatic Victorian water tower that is a symbol of Colchester, the Roman Balkerne Gate, and the Mercury Theatre and Colchester Arts Centre. Currently fragmented and lacking a clear focus, the aim for this space is to create a family friendly and celebratory space for events and performances, at a key gateway into the town centre.
At the other end of the town centre, the site of the former St Nicholas churchyard is gradually becoming surrounded by a range of bars and restaurants. We aim to retain the memory of the small graveyard plots left over from the demolition of the church in the 1950s, while creating a lively and welcoming square by reducing the current dominance of vehicle movements through the space.
In September 2020 the town recieved funding from the Government's Town Deal Fund to take the project forward and develop the spaces fully.