A HUGE networking event is being held in the hopes of offering a platform to connect residents, businesses, community leaders and essential organisations across Colchester.

The event at Kingsland Church Community Centre, in London Road, Lexden, has been organised by Sixty-Ten Arts Management.

The Welcome To Colchester event is supported by Colchester Arts Centre, Mama T’s Kitchen, KAT Marketing, the Rotary Club of Colchester and more.

Attendees can enjoy talks and presentations, artistic performances, an expo of local businesses, community services and other organisations.

Gazette: Guests - Mayor John Jowers and Mayoress Susan Jowers will be at the eventGuests - Mayor John Jowers and Mayoress Susan Jowers will be at the event (Image: Newsquest)

The mayor and mayoress of Colchester, John and Susan Jowers, will be special guests at the event.

There will be sessions on career, finance, and business led by Mike Duffy, Karen Badenoch and Bolaji Sofoluwe.

Addressing educational topics will be Grace Adewale, while Ian McMeekan, a retired Colchester guide known for his engaging walking tours, will share his knowledge of the city's history and culture.

Dancer, teacher and cultural artist, Shrimathi Susanna, will be performing at the event.

Gazette: Host - program director Segun LawalHost - program director Segun Lawal (Image: Studio 24)

The event will be hosted by program director Segun Lawal, who has more than 27 years of international experience in arts management.

He hopes the event will provide a platform for new residents in Colchester to learn about the city and make connections.

He said: “The vision is to host an event that makes you feel welcome.

“Everyone deserves a fresh start. This program is designed with every intention to give you the best opportunity at that.

“We are excited to extend a warm welcome to the new residents of Colchester, offering them an opportunity to engage with our lively community.

Gazette: Venue - Reverend Neil Loxley at Kingsland ChurchVenue - Reverend Neil Loxley at Kingsland Church (Image: Newsquest)

"As our community continues to grow, we recognise the importance of facilitating connections and cultural integration for those adjusting to a new location.

“Colchester stands as a diverse and inclusive city, and we eagerly anticipate highlighting the array of opportunities awaiting newcomers at this event."

The event is free to attend, but registration is required. To register and secure your spot, visit welcometocolchester.co.uk.

It will be held from 2pm to 6pm on Saturday March 23, free parking is available on site.