BOWLING and mini-golf have been confirmed for the Northern Gateway leisure development with an operator signing a pre-let lease agreement.

Hollywood Bowl Group has agreed 25-year leases on two units totalling nearly 50,000sq ft at the leisure park, which will be located just off the A12 near Colchester United's stadium.

It will be taking over a ground floor unit as a bowling alley, to be run under its Hollywood Bowl brand, and a first floor unit for its new Putt-stars mini-golf brand.

Turnstone is the developer chosen by Colchester Council to work on the plans for the 10-acre site.

Chris Goldsmith, of Turnstone Estates, said: "Hollywood Bowl and Putt-stars are fantastic additions to the Northern Gateway alongside other best in class leisure operators.

"This project will deliver a great boost to Colchester and its wider environs.”

The Northern Gateway leisure park scheme will be anchored by a 12-screen cinema with Superscreen and 4DX capability, which is set to be operated by Cineworld.

Other pre-let deals have been signed with Travelodge and Jump Street, which will run a climbing centre.

Laurence Keen, of Hollywood Bowl Group, said: "We’re excited to be bringing our leading leisure brands to the residents of Colchester and to being part of the new Northern Gateway development."

Work is expected to begin on site in early 2021, with completion scheduled for mid 2022.

Construction at the other sections of Northern Gateway, including the sports park, is underway.

Once complete it will include state-of-the-arts facilities for sports like cycling, rugby, archery facilities, indoor cricket and more.

Funding has come from organisations including Sport England.

Colchester Rugby Club’s former home in Mill Road is being developed into up to 350 homes, a care home, up to 300 older persons’ homes and retail and business space.