RESIDENTS are being invited to help shape a new community centre which will serve residents in the north of Colchester.

The proposed St Mark's Community Centre will be based at the old home of Colchester Rugby Club, in Mill Road.

The Mill Road site is set to be turned into 350 new homes, 300 homes for elderly residents, a surgical hospital, a new medical centre, 75-bed care home and 45,100sqm of commercial space after the club's move to the new Northern Gateway Sports Park.

Designs for the new community centre have been drawn up by architects Barefoot and Gilles for the new building, which will offer community groups a range of new facilities.

Residents and groups are being invited to share their views on the plans with the project's designers, trustees and councillors for the area at an online webinar.

After the webinar, an online survey will be open until Tuesday, October 5.

Beverley Oxford, Highwoods Independent councillor and the council's communities boss, said: "The new community centre presents a real opportunity to deliver more facilities and opportunities for residents.

"It’s crucial for us to get feedback from local people on these plans, to understand how we can make sure any facility developed has their needs in mind.

“I would encourage people to join the online webinar to find out more, we would really appreciate as many people filling out the online survey as possible.”

The development will be managed to Colchester Amphora Trading, the council's commercial firm, and forms part of the wider Northern Gateway development.

Sue Lissimore, councillor responsible for resources, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for residents to have their say on a significant investment in local resources.

"The development of a new community centre will have a positive impact on the local community and I look forward to hearing feedback on these proposals.”