About Colchester

The borough of Colchester is situated in the north-east of Essex, is approximately 60 miles from London and covers an area of around 125 square miles.


The main town is Colchester but there are many surrounding small towns and villages of which the largest are Tiptree, West Mersea and Wivenhoe. The countryside areas of the borough, which include Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are mainly used for agriculture.

Colchester has a rich and vast heritage – as the Roman settlement of Camulodonum, it was the first capital of England and it is also Britain's first city. The borough houses a large university of approximately 15,000 students and is also home to a garrison with capacity for approximately 4,000 military personnel.

Colchester’s population of 197,000 in 84,000 households makes it the largest district in Essex. Our population is projected to grow to 214,000 by 2030. Over the period 2001-2020, 18,000 new homes were built; 11,000 more are projected to be delivered 2021- 2033.

Our population and economy are both growing rapidly: 16,000 jobs were created 2004 - 2019 (up 31%); and the turnover of the local economy grew to £4,566m over the same period, an increase of an estimated £1,102m of Gross Value Added (GVA) (using 2016 prices). Significantly, Colchester attracted an estimated £320.7m of inward investment between 2015 and 2020.

Colchester is highly accessible from within the UK and from overseas and it has the transport links of a major regional destination.  Being easy to reach from London, the Eastern region and the continent means that Colchester is a popular place to live, work, visit and study.  Colchester is well connected being on the A120 arc between London Stansted Airport and Harwich International Port. The borough is served by the A12 trunk road from East London.  It is also well served by rail being on the mainline from London Liverpool Street to Norwich.