A BUSY roundabout is set to be overhauled to make Colchester “more welcoming and prettier” for visitors to the city.

Work to install a drought-proof garden on the Albert roundabout is expected to start in September.

It’s part of a project which has been jointly funded by Essex County Council, Colchester Council, and rail operator Greater Anglia and forms part of the “fixing the link” initiative which aims to improve visitors’ first impressions of Colchester.

City centre councillor Steph Nissen says she is “absolutely delighted this project is finally happening”.

Gazette: City centre councillor Steph Nissen is looking forward to seeing the changes take shapeCity centre councillor Steph Nissen is looking forward to seeing the changes take shape (Image: Steph Nissen)

She said: “We’ve got a rich vibrant history in the city. It’s great to make one of the key approaches more appealing and welcoming as well as brightening it up for residents living here.

“It’s a really important project which has been planned then delivered so well done to officers for being determined to see this one through.”

The garden will be planted by experts from Beth Chatto’s Gardens in Elmstead Market and existing soil will be repurposed and used in the gardens at Firstsite in the city centre.

One lane will be closed overnight on approach to the Albert roundabout, which connects North Station Road, Cowdray Avenue, and Colne Bank Avenue, while the work is completed.

Brightening up the roundabout has been a long time in the making, with plans to install a large steel elephant first submitted in 2018.

The idea was eventually canned in favour of the soon-to-be-installed garden.

The “fixing the link” project has already seen improvements made to the one-mile journey from Colchester station to the city centre, including the installation of artwork to help with directions.

Two elephants in High Street, close to its junction with North Hill, help visitors find their way around the city.

North Station Road is an important area of Colchester for the city council, which approved plans for it to join a conservation area in February.

Steph Nissen is the Labour candidate for Castle ward in the upcoming Colchester Council elections. The other candidates are Kemal Cufoglu (Grn), Martin Gillingham (Lib), and Ryan Smith (Con).

Update: This article originally said works would be completed at the Albert roundabout between April 29 and May 10. Colchester Council has since confirmed this has been postponed until September.