THE PUBLIC is being invited to view plans to enhance part of Colchester’s town centre.

Works are underway to improve the St Botolph’s Quarter, including the development of the former St. James’s House and surrounding area to Firstsite.

Plans for this site are set to be revealed at a public consultation next week.

Developers Alumno Group are looking to bring forward the plans for the site, currently owned by Colchester Council.

Working alongside Building Partnerships and Colchester Amphora Trading, the initial proposals include 330-bed student accommodation, an 87-bed hotel and brand new commercial space.

David Campbell, managing director of Alumno Group, said it will bring vibrancy and life to this part of the town centre.

He said: “This is a significant investment in Colchester.

“We are delighted to be part of such exciting placemaking plans for the St Botolph’s Quarter and hope to make a valuable contribution to Colchester’s town centre.

“We are looking forward to presenting these plans to the community and hearing what people think.

“We want to produce a scheme that complements the historic heritage of the town, delivers sustainable uses and complements the emerging character of the Cultural Quarter.”

Nick Barlow (Lib Dem), councillor responsible for commercial services, said it was an exciting time for the town.

He said: “This high quality mixed use development will bring new life into the St Botolph’s area and is the next major step in the council’s vision to regenerate this part of the town centre.

“It will add to the diverse cultural mix which schemes such as the Curzon cinema, Firstsite and 37 Queen Street have already helped to create and the student residences.

“Plus hotel and commercial space will not only be a valuable resource for new students joining the University of Essex in coming years, but will also benefit both Colchester residents and visitors to our town.”

The Curzon cinema will open its doors on Friday, July 6.

Housed on two floors, in Queen Street, there will be three screens with 300 seats in total.

The cinema itself has opted to run a rooftop terrace bar and a downstairs bar, while two other restaurant units are also set to open.

Local residents and interested businesses are invited to a public exhibition. It will be taking place in the Rose Room at Greyfriars Hotel on Colchester High Street.

The exhibition will run between 2pm and 8pm on Wednesday, July 4.

Further information and an opportunity to provide feedback will be provided at on the same day.