COLCHESTER will officially be crowned as a city next month, the Gazette can reveal.

The historic town will be formally conferred as a city on Wednesday, November 23 when the letters patent – an official document written on parchment – is presented to the mayor Tim Young.

The moment will mark the start of a year of celebrations as Colchester becomes the 76th city in the UK and the third in Essex, alongside Chelmsford and Southend.

Colchester Council leader David King said he was “thrilled” to have a new date after the previous occasion on September 12 was postponed following the death of  the Queen.

Gazette: Mayor - Tim YoungMayor - Tim Young (Image: Newsquest)

Refugees who have found a new life in Colchester will join a procession of dignitaries ahead of a ceremony at Colchester Town Hall conferring city status.

The historic occasion is expected to remain the same as previously planned involving a civic procession of dignitaries and councillors led by the Town Serjeant and Colchester Pipes and Drums.

The procession will move from the Mercury Theatre, along Colchester High Street to the town hall where the Town Crier will deliver a proclamation.

The Lord Lieutenant of Essex Jennifer Tolhurst will then present the letters patent to Mr Young.

Gazette: Lord Lieutenant - Jennifer TolhurstLord Lieutenant - Jennifer Tolhurst (Image: Newsquest)

Following speeches from the mayor and Lord Lieutenant, the sole business item of the meeting will see members vote on a resolution to change the name of Colchester Borough Council to Colchester City Council.

Once approved, Colchester officially becomes a city and the meeting will formally close – reconvening minutes later for the first full meeting of Colchester City Council and a ceremony to confer honorary aldermanship on former mayor and long-serving councillor Peter Chillingworth.

“It will be a moment of joy for Colchester to mark a fantastic year ahead,” said Mr King.

Gazette: Ceremony - Colchester Town HallCeremony - Colchester Town Hall (Image: Newsquest)

“We need to make the most of what city status gives us in terms of the place and position it will give us.

“All the council cabinet, like so many residents, are just thrilled to have a restart after the sadness of the period of mourning.

“We know we are on the cusp of something great and the receipt of the letters patent will be the start of something special.”