PLANS to transform Colchester’s old Queen Street police station into a £2million centre for the creative industries have been approved.

Colchester Council, which owns the Grade II-listed building, wants to turn it into a centre to help creative entrepreneurs start up businesses.

Currently occupied by TP’s Sports Bar, the bottom floor is set to become a cafe and reception area, with 22 studio spaces on the ground and first floors.

The plans were approved unanimously by Colchester Council planning committee on Thursday.

Nick Barlow, planning committee member, said: “This is a great scheme for Colchester and will certainly bring more life into a great building, given that very little of the building is being used.
“Creative businesses are something we really need.”

Nigel Offen added: “This would be an excellent facility in the centre of town and something which we should absolutely be backing.”

The partly EU-funded project would also provide an exhibition area for artwork .

It could also act as a venue for events for up to 400 people.

The new centre would be similar to the one at 15 Queen Street, which has helped 750 creative industry businesses in the past three years.