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Investing in Colchester

PUBLISHED: 12:57 18 March 2011 | UPDATED: 15:44 20 February 2013

Colchester Castle

Colchester Castle

Legendary links with Camelot, access to Constable Country and a vibrant buzz in the business community. Colchester has it all reports Elizabeth Ross...

Legendary links with Camelot, access to Constable Country and a vibrant buzz in the business community. Colchester has it all reports Elizabeth Ross...

Camelot in our midst
Charming Colchester, Britain's oldest recorded town, may well have been home to Camelot if you believe local legend, but today it is full of 21st century appeal. Residents who have recently relocated from London cite the proximity to some of the most desirable countryside in Essex - Colchester is on the doorstep of Constable Country and within easy reach of the coast - combined with excellent schools and health services, as well as an attractive business environment, as reasons for moving here.

Strong economy
Colchester is home to numerous small to medium-sized enterprises. Approximately 80% of the local workforce is employed in companies with 20 or fewer employees. The Colchester Business Enterprise Agency has recently been recognised for its outstanding track record in supporting new businesses from inception through to the first three years of operation. Opportunities to network locally on an informal basis and through groups affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce are said to be excellent. Colchester is also part of the Haven Gateway Development Programme which promotes regional investment. The town has 100 hectares of employment land available to businesses looking to develop their existing operations or relocate to the area.

Supports stability
Colchester's economic mix is unique in that growing businesses sit alongside a strong public sector. The town has a long-standing association with the British Army and in 2006 the Ministry of Defence signed a new 35-year deal ensuring the future of the local garrison. This was accompanied by a regeneration project worth around 2 billion, which transformed the look and feel of many areas in the town. Army staff, their families and related support services contribute more than 100 million to the local economy. The University of Essex generates a similar level of demand, and an increasing number of locally-educated graduates are choosing to stay in Colchester.

Access all areas
Colchester is a particularly suitable location for companies interested in international trade, given its proximity to Stansted Airport and the Haven ports of Harwich and Felixstowe. Excellent road links (to London via the A12 and the Midlands via the A14) ensure it is also well positioned for UK distribution networks. A number of ports and logistics businesses have selected Colchester. Flkt Woods, a Finnish company which manufacturs turbines, employs 300 people in the town. Historic Colchester looks set to keep the visitors coming.

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