September 21, 2015
Colchester Borough Council has selected Turnstone Colchester Ltd as its development partner to deliver an exciting new sports and leisure development at Colchester’s Northern Gateway site.
The site comprises 18 acres of development land, located at junction 28 of the A12. It is situated within the Northern Growth Area and benefits from the recently completed Northern Approach Road from Colchester town centre.
The Council sought expressions of interest from developers with the skills, ingenuity and capacity to deliver a leisure development opportunity in line with the principles of the masterplan prepared by Allies and Morrison.
The masterplan aimed to create a new gateway destination for Colchester, and the wider region, offering participation sports and family leisure, which is supportive of the Town Centre.
After undergoing a thorough procurement process, Turnstone was selected as the preferred bidder. At the Council’s Revolving Investment Fund (RIF) Committee meeting, the RIF committee decided to approve the recommendation to grant a leasehold interest to Turnstone.
Designs and uses will be subject to further discussion, but the current proposed scheme includes a 40,000 sq ft 12 screen regional cinema with IMAX and 4DX provision, 12 restaurants, an 80-bed hotel, 80,000 sq ft of other leisure uses, including extreme sports and exemplary public realm including large areas of water.
Chris Goldsmith, managing director of Turnstone said: “We are delighted to have been selected for this exciting new sports and leisure project and look forward to working with the local authority and appropriate statutory bodies in the coming weeks.”
Councillor Bill Frame, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth and Planning said: “Granting leasehold interest in this site to Turnstone is an extremely exciting and significant step forward in the development of the Northern Gateway. It will be a real boost for economic development across the borough and will also create substantial job opportunities.
“This development will deliver a high quality, sustainable destination within the Borough to promote new sports participation and provide a regional quality leisure experience. It will complement the Colchester town centre offer and provide benefits for both residents and visitors alike.”
Councillor Mark Cory, Portfolio Holder for Resources said: “I am extremely pleased the recommendation has been approved by the RIF committee. This innovative new site complements the wider plans for the growth of new communities at sites across north Colchester.
“This development is a key example of how the Council is becoming more commercially focussed in order to deliver its strategic priorities. The development will generate significant new income streams to help support the Council to maintain its front line services.”
It is estimated that the development will create in the region of 600 new full and part time jobs, linked directly or indirectly to the scheme and 233 additional jobs involved in the construction of the site.
Wareing& Partners and Whybrows are advising Turnstone.