Empty shops, abandoned buildings and stalled developments have done little to help boost our town centre.

The high street and the way people shop is changing and we need to move with the times.

Reviving the town centre’s fortunes could get a boost with a share of a £25 million cashpot up for grabs.

A total of 100 towns up and down the country have been chosen to bid for money to spark regeneration.

Each area will have to come up ideas where it could be spent and reasons it is needed.

There is a long list of places which could benefit from investment in Colchester; from Priory Walk, dogged with empty shops, to Crouch Street, blighted by the former Odeon cinema.

We need to create a town where independent shops, history and heritage, eating out and big name brands can all sit alongside each other.

Some people are, justifiably, sceptical about the intentions of the funding annoucement and question if it will actually materialise.

With the prospect of a general election looming it is no coincidence dozens of the towns which have been selected are in marginal seats.

In Essex, the towns to get the nod are Colchester and Harlow, where polls suggest it will be a close run thing, and Grays and Tilbury, in Thurrock, which the Tories held by a 345 majority.

Industry experts suggest £25 million won’t go far.

But town centres need every bit of help they can get and Government investment like this is long overdue.