A NEW partnership organisation has been created to develop a long-term vision for Colchester.

We Are Colchester, a partnership between Colchester Council, Essex County Council, businesses and other groups, will draw up a plan to make the best use of the borough’s historic, cultural and other assets.

This plan will be used to bid for up to £25 million from the Government’s Town Deal scheme, with Colchester being one of 100 places bidding for cash from the fund. The plan will also be used to secure further cash towards achieving the vision.

Colchester Council leader Mark Cory said: “The Town Deal offer shows Colchester is seen as a place worth investing in.

“We have been hugely successful in helping to attract new money into the borough to further our ambitions and support a host of high-profile projects.

“Residents should be excited by this new development. Working with Essex County Council and others, Colchester Council will develop a vision helping not only secure as much as possible from the Town Deal, but also unlock the future potential of this great borough.”

We Are Colchester will be chaired by an independent business representative with Mr Cory and Tony Ball, County Hall’s economic development boss, as vice-chairs.

The partnership will explore how to overcome barriers to growth like the town’s transport infrastructure.

Mr Ball said: “Colchester is the fastest growing town in the east of England. It is a town of opportunity and it is vital we all work together in partnership to secure this Government funding to attract companies, create jobs and increase prosperity.”