LIGHTS, new location archways and street artwork will be used to help give Colchester’s independent traders a boost.

The Our Colchester Business Improvement District (BID) is working on a project with architects HAT Projects to support businesses.

The team have worked with independent business owners across the town centre to draw more shoppers to the area.

The Indies Route project is focused on streets such as Sir Isaac’s Walk, Crouch Street and Eld Lane.

Earlier this year BID said it had set aside £25,000 a year to benefit the town’s independent businesses.

Under the project it hopes to deliver a raft of improvements over the next 12 months.

It includes a lighting installation, labelled Lighting the Lanes, to highlight the route along Sir Isaac’s Walk and Eld Lane.

Street signs and artworks by town artists will be placed at Long Wyre Street, Trinity Street, Sir Isaac’s Walk and Crouch Street.

Street archways will be put up at the start of Sir Isaac’s Walk and Short Wyre Street to attract visitors to explore the lanes.

Hanging baskets will be added to shop fronts to improve their appearance and welcome packs will be developed for new businesses who take on premises along the route.

Sam Good, BID manager, said “This project is all about the independent businesses owning how the area around their premises is developed and improved.


“We spoke to and listen to the independent businesses through our business engagement, enabling us to get a true understanding of what they want to see.

“Our Indie task and finish group was key in the vision coming together and we are incredibly proud and excited to secure funding to deliver such exciting projects in the first 12 months of the vision.”

Steve Hurdle, owner of Best Days Vintage in Eld Lane and member of the independent task and finish group welcomed the move.

He said: “We all need someone to lean on, and for us, building community is the best way to help each other thrive.

“At Best Days, we believe the Indie Route represents all the best bits of these ideals.

“Being part of a community that is proud, caring and growing together.

“Plus, we are developing a brand that will inspire and encourage more people to come to our lovely town.”


Elizabeth Cannon, owner of Elizabeth Cannon Antiques, said following Covid, businesses were looking forward to the project.

She said “Some ideas will complement our history and some will be practical, improving lighting and, therefore, safety in the cross town pedestrian routes.

“As we all come through the Covid nightmare we will be greeted by a town that has been using its time well, making improvements in preparation to welcome back shoppers and visitors alike.”

The coming months will be focused on delivering the first stages of the project.

To provide feedback on the proposals email