Here is a look at the new shops and restaurants heading to Colchester in 2020.

And some plans which may finally start work during the next 12 months.


The craft and art supplies chain will open its new Stanway shop this spring, the business has confirmed.

Hobbycraft, which is the UK’s leading haberdashery and crafting supplies firm, is set to open its latest store at Tollgate, Stanway, bringing 15 new jobs to the area.


PureGym submitted plans to convert the old DW Sports unit at Colchester Retail Park, in Sheepen Road, into one of its gyms, as well as adding a takeaway restaurant nearly 12 months ago.

The gym will be open 24 hours, seven days a week, creating approximately 14 new part-time and full-time jobs.

It is expected to open in March.


A health bar offering blended juices, shakes, shots, coffee and teas has opened in Colchester.

5FiVE, in The Crescent, offers 41 signatures drinks and has full accreditation from the Brain Foundation, with a specific mind menu focused on supporting brain health.

The shop also offers online orders, delivery, business to business services and an app, which is offering £5 towards new customers’ first drinks.

A percentage of the business’ sales also go to charities Youth Sports Trust and Food for The Brain.

Nanna's Yarn Barn

Fiona Ellerker has officially opened Nanna’s Yarn Barn in Red Lion Yard, Colchester.

She was inundated with customers on her first day of opening and is excited about what the future holds.

KK Korean - The Kimchi Kingdom

A new Korean restaurant is set to open in Colchester bringing seven jobs to the town.

A planning application has been approved to install a new kitchen extraction system within a unit in Queen Street.

Applicant Liang Wang plans to reopen the old Essex Cares premises, opposite Curzon cinema, as a restaurant offering Korean staple kimchi.

New signs for the restaurant, called KK Korean - The Kimchi Kingdom, will also be installed.

Seafood at Dawn

A young entrepreneur has opened a fresh seafood restaurant on East Mersea.

Paige Bennett, 20, and business partner Steve Prosser have taken on the old premises of Mehalahs restaurant, in East Road, and created Seafood at Dawn.

Seafood at Dawn will offer traditional seaside favourite like skate wings, Dover sole and much more to diners.

Mersea resident Miss Bennett used to work at Mehalahs before it closed.

And here are some of the projects which may get started in 2020....

KFC, Ipswich Road

Restaurant chain KFC is a step closer to building its new drive-thru on the edge of Colchester.

In 2018, councillors threw out the bid for land at Ipswich Road, amid concerns it was too close to an historic cottage and a Premier Inn hotel.

KFC appealed against the decision to refuse permission and in March an inspector ruled in its favour.

The fast food giant has spent more than five years – and two planning applications – battling to get the drive-thru given the green light.

Applications which are a precursor to building work beginning were submitted to the council last year.

Lidl, St Andrews Avenue

Lidl’s bid to convert the site of Colchester’s former Homebase store, in St Andrew’s Avenue, was unanimously approved by the planning committee last June.

The new multi-million pound store will create 40 jobs.

Construction had been begin at the end of 2019 with a provisional opening date set for the start of 2020.

Stane Park, Tollgate

Work on the new multi-million pound retail park, which is set to create around 400 jobs, is on course to begin this year.

Churchmanor Estates has submitted a fresh planning application to Colchester Council for its development at Stane Park, opposite Tollgate Sainsbury’s in Stanway.

Original proposals for the retail park, which will feature big names like B&Q, Aldi and Marks and Spencer, were approved in August 2018.

Northern Gateway

Construction work for the leisure section of the Northern Gateway development was set to begin last year.

However, property marketing firm Whybrow said in May it was struggling to sign up restaurant operators due to uncertainty caused by Brexit.

The northern section of the council-backed Northern Gateway development, which is located just off the A12 near Colchester United’s stadium, is set to feature a 12-screen Cineworld cinema, up to a dozen restaurants and an 80-bed Travelodge hotel.

There is also set to be indoor leisure facilities like bowling, climbing and adventure golf.

Turnstone, the developer chosen by the council to build the scheme, says on its website construction could begin at the end of 2020.

Tollgate Village

Colchester Council’s planning department rubber-stamped Tollgate Partnership Limited’s reserved matters application for its Tollgate Village development in Stanway back in November.

The application includes further details on the make-up and look of the leisure and shopping complex, which is set to be built on vacant land opposite Tollgate Retail Park.

South of Tollgate West Road, the scheme’s leisure development will feature a multi-level pedestrian plaza, a cinema and up to nine restaurants and shops.