BUDGET hotel chain Travelodge will be the latest high profile addition to Colchester town centre, the Gazette can reveal.

The firm will open an 87-bed hotel in the former Keddies building, in Queen Street.

Building work is expected to start in autumn next year with an opening date thought to be in late 2019.


The future - how the area could look from Queen Street in 2019

The hotel is a part of a £30 million regeneration of the eastern side of Colchester town centre, which will also see the Curzon cinema open early next year, complete with a restaurant, a bar and a roof terrace.

A number of separate bars and restaurants are also planned in the ‘food and drink-led quarter’, alongside a 230-flat student accommodation block.

Council bosses also hope the scheme will “open up” Firstsite to the town centre.

Speaking outside the former department store yesterday, Tim Young, Colchester councillor responsible in part for regeneration, said: “When people stand here in two years time there will be a huge difference.

“This is going to be somewhere people go ‘to’ rather than ‘through’ to get to somewhere else.”


A view towards the 87-bed hotel from the back of the former bus depot

He added: “It is a phased project so people will see Curzon open sometime early next year, then they will see work on the hotel begin - this is happening.

“We know it has been a long time coming and this part of town has been crying out for regeneration - now we are delivering it.”

The development centres around two well-known buildings, with Curzon opening in the Queen Street-fronted Roman House, and St James’ House, which is in the process of being demolished.


It is hoped the demolition will be completed within the next six weeks.

Mr Young added: “The whole development will open up Firstsite to the town centre. It will no longer be hidden away behind a building which, to be quite honest, has become something of an eyesore.

It will be Travelodge’s second hotel in Colchester, having confirmed a lease for a hotel which is part of the Northern Gateway scheme.