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Canada Life to forward fund Turnstone Estates’ Colchester leisure scheme

Canada Life has agreed to forward fund Turnstone Estates £65 million leisure development in Colchester’s Northern Gateway. As part of the deal Colchester Borough Council has taken an over-riding lease on the scheme with a full buy-back of the Leisure Park at the end of the term for £1. This will allow the council to manage future leisure provision within the town with outright ownership after 35 years.

Chris Goldsmith, of Turnstone Estates, said: “This is a really positive milestone for the new leisure development. We have signed some fantastic operators and with work about to start on site, we look forward to the scheme opening in autumn 2023.”

Michael White, Head of Property at Canada Life Asset Management, commented: “Northern Gateway Leisure Park is an exciting project that will serve an expanding catchment population and meets our objective to provide long-term finance for high quality development backed by local authorities in support of community enhancement plans.”

Cllr Sue Lissimore, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Deputy Leader of the Council, said:
“The funding of this much anticipated leisure amenity is tremendous news not only for the project itself but also the wider Northern Gateway development.”

Planning approval for the 200,000 sq. ft. leisure scheme, located south of Junction 28 of the A12, was granted by Colchester Borough Council in December 2020. It will include a 12-screen Cineworld, two drive-thru restaurants (Greggs and Wendy’s), a 90-bed Travelodge hotel, a Hollywood Bowl bowling alley, Puttstars indoor golf centre and a Jump Street climbing centre, as well as seven restaurants, high-quality landscaped piazza, parking for 750 cars and several rapid-charge electric vehicle charging points.

The Turnstone Estates’ scheme for the Northern Gateway Leisure Park forms part of a wider development delivered by Colchester Borough Council and its Colchester Amphora companies that also includes the recently opened Northern Gateway Sports Park and the forthcoming 350 new homes, healthcare hub, and 45,100 sqm of commercial floorspace. The whole development will benefit from an integral digital network providing ultra-fast broadband to local homes and businesses.

Wareing & Partners advised Turnstone Estates, Price Property Consultants acted for Canada Life, and Colchester Amphora Trading Limited advised Colchester Borough Council.