New things to see, do and visit
Colchester welcomed around 4.9m* visitor trips in 2011 and a further 500,000 visitor trips are anticipated every year as a result of all the work described in these jigsaw pieces. Tourism contributes more than £239m* a year to the Borough economy and supports around 6,000 jobs.
Read on to find out more about what's happening ...
Colchester Castle Museum will have a £4.5 make-over during 2013 to become an even better place to visit. This major project will also interpret the town's wider heritage. This means that the Castle will be closed during 2013 and will reopen again in Spring 2014. The project is being supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Colchester Borough Council, EU Interreg fund, Friends of Colchester Museums, Essex Heritage Trust and Friends of Colchester Roman Wall.
New attractions, firstsite will host exhibitions from major international artists as well as local and regional artists. There are film screening facilities as well as conferencing there.
Castle Park the refurbishment of the children's play area was completed in Spring 2011. Local organisations are helping to maintain Castle Park. The Sensory Garden will also be refurbished and has had new trees planted already this year. Castle Park hosts many events, fairs and festivals every year. For the latest information about what's on click on the official tourism website: www.visitcolchester.com
St Botolph's Quarter opening up a completely new area of the town centre, the 65 new shops, cafes, restaurants and bars planned for this area will compliment Colchester's existing shopping and leisure offer and make it a more attractive choice for local people and visitors alike. St Botolph's Priory: improvements to the Priory grounds during 2010 is making it a more welcoming place to visit, picnic and enjoy events.
2008 saw Colchester Castle Museum host its first international exhibition in partnership with a museum in China. More than 25,000 people visited the 'Guardians to the King' exhibition.
This paved the way for another international exhibition at the Castle during 2012 called 'Treasures of China'. This exhibition featured exquisite gold and jade suits from the Han Dynasty and is the first time these artefacts have left China. This was a key project to celebrate the national Cultural Olympiad.
June 30th 2012 also saw the 'Sparks Will Fly' event in Castle Park which also celebrated the 2012 Games. The Carnival also took place that day which was the biggest day in Colchester's Year of Celebration.
*source: Estimate of the Economic Impact of Tourism on Colchester Borough 2011 (The Cambridge Model), East England Tourism.