Turnstone Estates’ £65 million leisure development in Colchester has added two drive-thrus and has signed contracts with Cineworld and Travelodge for facilities.

This is a major boost for the scheme, located south of Junction 28 of the A12, which is set to deliver 200,000 sq ft of leisure space as part of Colchester Borough Council’s wider Northern Gateway, including seven restaurants, a landscaped piazza and parking for 750 cars.

Cineworld will open a new 12-screen cinema, with a large foyer to include a Starbucks concession. Travelodge has increased its hotel capacity from 80 to 90 beds. Greggs bakery and fast-food chain Wendy’s will be opening drive-thru restaurants; with Wendy’s only recently coming back to the UK, opening its first branch in Reading earlier in the year.

Eight high power electric vehicle charging points are also to be delivered by Fastned alongside the drive-thrus, which also include a solar canopy.

Leases have already been agreed for Hollywood Bowl to deliver a 20-lane bowling alley, Puttstars to deliver an indoor golf centre, and Jump Street to deliver an indoor climbing centre.

Chris Goldsmith, managing director of Turnstone Estates, said “These signings reflect occupational demand for this state-of-the-art leisure scheme. Despite the recent pandemic which created uncertainty in the sector, we are delighted to welcome Wendy’s, Fastned and Greggs to the line-up and accommodate a larger offering from Cineworld and Travelodge. We expect to announce other lettings and a contractor shortly and start work on-site in the New Year.”

Kevin Frost, property director Cineworld UK said “Our new cinema will feature state of the art technology aimed at providing an excellent viewer experience. The response to the launch of the latest Bond movie highlights that the general public still crave for the big screen.”

Travelodge’s UK development director Tony O’Brien said “Travelodge is delighted to be part of this exciting, new leisure development. The site is in a perfect location to serve both Colchester and the wider area, via the adjacent A12. Colchester has a real shortage of good value, branded budget hotels and this location and the fantastic leisure amenities will make it a brilliant place to stay, for leisure and business customers visiting the area. The new Travelodge will be developed to our latest brand standards, with comfort cooling, LED lighting and a Bar Cafe facility and will be Travelodge’s first hotel in the town.”

Cllr Sue Lissimore, portfolio holder for resources said “We are delighted that these brands are committed to coming to Colchester, in what promises to be an exciting development. This progress furthers our ambition to transform the Northern Gateway into a hub for improved wellbeing, physical activity, jobs, housing, and renewable energy. It is a key part of our commitment to boosting the local economy and helping our borough recover following the impact of Covid-19.”

The wider development of the Northern Gateway Leisure Park by Colchester Borough Council and its Colchester Amphora companies includes the recently opened Northern Gateway Sports Park, as well as 350 homes, a healthcare hub, 45,100 sqm of commercial space, and a carbon-reduction district heat network, as well as a state-of-the-art digital network providing ultra-fast broadband in the pipeline.

Planning permission for the scheme was granted by Colchester Borough Council in December 2020. Turnstone Estates is advised by Whybrow and Wareing and Partners. Savills acted for Wendy’s, Stephen Kane & Co for Greggs, and Carter Jonas for Travelodge.

Image source- Turnstone Estates

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