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Town is helping to reignite economy
6:00am Monday 30th December 2013 in News
COLCHESTER has the seventh fastest growing economy in the country, according to industry experts.
A report by consultants Lambert Smith Hampton also ranks it 24th in a list of towns likely to reignite the economy.
The UK Vitality Index results take into account productivity, affluence, the number of entrepreneurs and how environmentally friendly businesses are.
Paul Smith, borough councillor responsible for business, said: “This is great news for our town.
“Some businesses are having a difficult time, but there is an overall positive picture for Colchester.
“Colchester is not only growing fast, but is green, has high education standards and growing prosperity.”
In the past year, more than 700 newbusinesses have been registered in the borough.
Mr Smith said: “The number of start-up businesses has played a key part in these results.
“But we have three hotels agreed and one more we’re expecting to get confirmation on next year, sowe are in a good place.
“We also have the refurbishment of Williams and Griffin to come, as well as Curzon’s desire to locate a cinema in Colchester.”
Steve Hurdle opened Best Days Vintage, in Eld Lane, in November.
He said having looked at locations across the country, including Liverpool, Manchester, York and Norwich, he settled on Colchester because there was a gap in the market for vintage clothes.
He said: “We looked at loads of places, but they all had quite a large scene there already and we didn’t want to be another voice trying to shout louder than the rest.
“When we looked at Colchester, the market was there, but there wasn’t much to supply it. That, pretty much, made our decision.
“Colchester is really London- like now. People are dressing very cool and we’re happy to be a part of that.”
Elaine Jiggins, who opened Caffe Sala, in Eld Lane, earlier this year, said picking Colchester as a location was an easy choice.
She said: “I looked at Witham and Chelmsford, but I do not regret for one second choosing Colchester. It’s not a huge town and our customers are lovely.
“The support we have been given from people is amazing and being 24th in the country is something the people of Colchester should be proud of.”
Lingerie store Boutique 65, in Crouch Street, was voted best newcomer in the 2013 Essex Business Awards.
Michelle Grant-Robertson, who owns the shop, said: “The customer base here is great and I think people appreciate what we offer.
“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Most productive 31
Most affluent 22
Most entrepreneurial 28
Fastest growing 7
Colchester is ranked ahead of Glasgow, Newcastle and Southend, which are also in the top 65 list.
Chelmsford was ranked19th overall.
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