Living in Colchester all my life I have become accustomed to my surroundings and have taken for granted what is located all around the town. It wasn’t until starting work experience with the Our Colchester BID team that I have actually opened my eyes to appreciate the versatility Colchester Town has to offer. Looking at it from a different perspective I was able to see just how lucky we really are. Being able to combine local history with modern attitudes shows just how much potential the town really has.
Living here we can all be guilty of just coming in to do the things we need and not taking anything else into consideration. Until I stepped back, really looked, and took in my surroundings I never properly appreciated the actual town itself. Whilst on my work experience I made some key identifications which I think are really important in keeping people interested in the town.
No one wants a stressful experience when visiting the town whether you are working, shopping or coming in to eat. Being able to create a relaxed enjoyable environment is important to keep people wanting to visit the town. The subtle introduction of the umbrellas down Culver Square and the lanterns down Red Lion Yard offer a bright and eye-catching environment for shoppers and workers in the town. This engaging atmosphere is continued with constant music playing in Culver Square and the introduction of the InBloom flowers placed around the town; ultimately these give people something to focus on and listen to whilst they go about their day-to-day business without even realising.
Not having to endlessly travel around the town in order to find shops or restaurants may lead people to discover something new which they didn’t know existed. Having this variety of shops and restaurants located within each other means people can actually enjoy their whole shopping experience instead of it being a chore. Ultimately it means people don’t particularly need to look too far in order to find what they are looking for; with the added bonus of potentially finding something new they didn’t know they wanted.
Housing both regional stores alongside a large variety of independent ones; people are spoilt for choice in what they may come across. Sometimes when it comes to buying gifts for people or if you just fancy treating yourself a bit; it is easy to find yourself buying the same things over and over again. Having the option to visit independent stores alongside the well-known ones opens up the possibilities of finding something quirky and a little bit different.
I have now seen that Colchester Town has lots more to offer than people may realise at first glance. It doesn’t have to be a place to just to quickly pop into but can be a place where people have the opportunity to spend quality time with their family; whether that is through experiencing a different cuisine or through a bit of retail therapy. It has definitely changed my perspective on how I view the town and I am looking forward to exploring in more detail the versatility which it has to offer.