Essex CIP Expansion Approved

Final approval has been given and now businesses in Colchester can tap into an expanded Community Improvement Plan in Essex.

As AM800 News reported in March, the expanded CIP brings together programs in Harrow and Essex and includes at least five businesses in Colchester.

The program helps businesses mainly with store front improvements through 50-50 funding.

Councillor Steve Bjorkman says the program has been quite successful before the expansion. "We've had lots of uptake from Essex Centre and from Harrow Centre — at least we have ten business in Essex that have benefited, four or five in Harrow and there are few right now that are using that CIP."

"The program has seen real changes in the Harrow and Essex uptown areas," says Bjorkman. "Residents notice the facades are the biggest change. Instead of having an old clapboard front, we've got nice stucco fronts, we've got glass fronts, we've got new painted signs — it's really been a positive for both centres."

The town began offering the CIP in 2012.