An eclectic mix of ancient and modern
Colchester’s an ancient town at the forefront of technology and innovation Situated 51 miles northeast of London it’s connected to the capital by the A12 road and the Great Eastern railway. This fast road and rail access make it a popular town for London commuters.
House prices are currently around 20% below the national average & 24% below the regional average. This means Colchester is an ideal place for buy-to-let property investment with a potential for high yields.
The 2011 census ranked Colchester as the second highest district population. With the growth of 16% forecast to 2016, the population shows no signs of slowing.
Employment is above average for the region and 3% more than the national average. In addition to this, Colchester offers a wide selection of cultural activities, making it a great place to socialise and live. Being less than 30 miles from Stansted Airport and 20 miles from the passenger ferry port of Harwich, it also has great access to the rest of East Anglia, making it a popular place to live and work. So there is always a high demand for rental properties here. Firstsite is the new centre for the visual arts opened in September 2011 costing £25.5 million. That means Colchester property investment is ideal for you if you’re looking for a commuter belt property.
Discover more with a Colchester Property Investment Guide.
Economy & Employment
Colchester has one of the county’s most buoyant economies with business turnover nearing £7 billion.
The annual turnover of Colchester businesses is estimated to be nearing £7 billion. This is the second highest in the county.
The borough council has a regeneration program with 37 key projects either under construction or ready for delivery. Haven Port closed in 2000 and now both sides of the river are now undergoing redevelopment. This area will create a new community along the river with a range of infrastructure and community facilities, generating new jobs. Colchester has remained a popular tourist location over the past 15 years. Tourism currently supports more than 6,500 jobs in the borough it was included in England’s list of 56 cities, it would rank as one of the country’s most buoyant economies.
Colchester is a leader in construction with further education, retail and housing projects.
Colchester Institute, the largest vocational training provider in north Essex, has been successful in a bid to develop a new teaching block, supporting its 9,000 students. £7 million (from the Skills Funding Agency) will add to the college’s own £2.5 million to build the South Wing. The project is due for completion by the end of 2015. The new Vineyard Gate shopping complex will deliver 50,000 m2 of retail floorspace. It is a significant extension to the current shopping areas with new car parking and pedestrian and cycle links, as well as an attractive public area adjacent to the town wall.
134 hectares of land previously occupied by the MoD is being transformed into an urban village. The majority of the 2600 new homes that have been earmarked for this development will be built close to the town centre around the Abbey Fields area. Colchester Garrison is home to parachute regiments and air assault brigades. With recent improvements to the garrison, the MOD has committed to many more years in the town.
Schools: 63 primary, 11 secondary, 5 independent.
Notable institutions include:
Colchester Royal Grammar School for Boys aged 11–18, with girls admitted in the two upper years. The school’s sixth form has been ranked 1st in terms of A-Level results in the country every year since 2006.
Colchester County High School for
Higher Education: Facilities include Colchester Sixth Form College and Colchester Institute. The University of Essex has a campus located to the east of Colchester in Wivenhoe Park. Set in over 200 acres of parkland, it is home to sixteen academic departments and has more than 10,500 students.
The A12 access means to travel between the Colchester campus and campuses in Basildon, Southend and Anglia Ruskin in Chelmsford are all swift journeys.
Girls aged 11-18. Ranked fourth in the country in the 2013 secondary GCSE league tables.
Shops & Leisure
Shopping: The new £70 million ‘Vineyard Gate’ shopping complex has been approved for construction to commence shortly. This will add significant floor space and enhancements to town centre retail facilities at Lion Walk, Culver Square and St Johns Walk, together with a new pedestrian and cycle link. Two major retailers who do not currently have a presence in the town have committed to retail space within the new centre.
Leisure: Colchester is a hive of cultural activity with theatres and art craft venues both old and modern. It also has a leisure centre, a large cinema and much-loved castle museum.
A short car ride will take you to the zoological gardens as well as a number of beautiful parks and lakes.
Prices are consistently stable in the area. With new residential areas planned and a strong growth rate of habitation, Colchester has the potential to offer a promising return.