PLANS for a £70million roofed shopping centre in Colchester are set to be made public.

The Vineyard Gate development will include a large anchor store as well as a number of smaller shops and restaurants.

Colchester Council plans to plough £5million into the project, with the remainder of the money coming from private investors.

The 175,000sq feet shopping centre would create 750 jobs, but work may not start for up to two years while planning permission is sought and full details are thrashed out.

Residents will also be able to give their views in a public consultation.

Anne Turrell, leader of Colchester Council, said: “This has been hanging around for years, but no we can say ‘this is going to happen’.

“It shows investors believe Colchester is a good place to invest - they want to come here.

“We have a great town which has a lot to offer.”

She added: “We’re not allowed to name the anchor store, but it has already brought in a number of other stores and is continuing to do so.

“This is something to be excited about.”

Caddick Developments first put forward £250million plans for a 550,000sq feet Vineyard Gate shopping centre in 2002, but work was delayed in 2009 because of the economic downturn.

But last year the developer signalled renewed interest in the site, which includes Vineyard Street car park.

Johnny Caddick, director at Caddick Developments, said: “Caddick Developments remains committed and financially invested in the Vineyard Gate scheme.

“Vineyard Gate will comprise of contemporary retail and leisure units that will be fully integrated with the centre of the town, aimed at attracting new high profile retailers to enhance the existing town centre of Colchester.”

Colchester Council cabinet will debate the plans on Monday, March 17.