Colchester’s newest Sainsbury’s store and nursery are drawing closer to opening as building work continues.

Childcare provider Bright Horizons confirmed it is hoping to welcome families to its new nursery, in Whitmore Drive, Mile End, in early 2024.

Building work started at the site, which will also house Sainsbury’s fourth store in the city, earlier this year.

The Sainsbury’s Local store and Bright Horizons nursery will be on the edge of the Kingswood Heath development.

Gazette: Building - the new Sainsbury's store is under constructionBuilding - the new Sainsbury's store is under construction (Image: Newsquest)

Harvey Lay, who is Bright Horizons’ property director, said: “We look forward to welcoming families to Bright Horizons Colchester Day Nursery and Preschool soon.

“We have lots of exciting new features, such as a great outdoor area for children to learn and play in a natural setting.

“Being in such a great location means it is accessible and will support families in the community who need childcare.”

The new nursery will provide places for children aged three months to five years old.

It will feature calm spaces, role play kitchens, and water play stations, so children can build on their exploration and understanding in an enthusiastic setting.

Gazette: Childcare - a Bright Horizons nursery will be opening in Whitmore Drive, Mile EndChildcare - a Bright Horizons nursery will be opening in Whitmore Drive, Mile End (Image: Bright Horizons)

Sainsbury’s previously said it would be opening its new store, which will be next to the nursery, before the end of this year.

The supermarket giant’s property director Patrick Dunne said: “We’re delighted to be building a new Sainsbury’s Local for customers in Colchester, creating new jobs and representing a significant investment in the local area.”

It is currently unknown whether the opening of the new supermarket will be delayed in line with its neighbour's opening date, but Mile End councillor Martin Goss said he understands the retailer is still on track to meet its year-end deadline.

He said: “I believe Sainsbury’s will open before the end of the year and the nursery has always been slightly later.

“The building appears to be making really good progress and I’m confident both businesses will be very successful. I look forward to welcoming both businesses to the community soon.”

The nursery will be on the corner of Whitmore Drive and Eden Drive, with the Sainsbury’s store behind it on the corner of Via Urbis Romanae.

More than three years have passed since Colchester Council approved the plans for the site.