Colchester’s Northern Gateway Sports Park opened its doors for free on Saturday, 24 July, giving 4,000 kids and adults the chance to try their hand at activities, watch demonstrations and to enjoy taster sessions.

Visitors to the Sports Park open day had use of the Pump Track, Learn to Ride and 1-mile Cycle Track, and watched football, rugby, cricket and badminton demonstrations. Tours of the Sports Park were given to visitors showcasing the state-of-the-art Activa Gym, fitness studio and velo studio.

Visitors drank more than 730 cups of free coffee from Suffolk coffee company, Paddy & Scott’s, who have a coffee shop inside Colchester’s Northern Gateway Leisure World building.

Councillor Paul Dundas, the Leader of Colchester Borough Council, and Councillor Sue Lissimore, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Deputy Leader of the council, joined in with the festivities and saw first-hand what the Sports Park means to residents.

Cllr Sue Lissimore, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Deputy Leader of the council, said: “Our new Northern Gateway Sports Park is a truly wonderful facility for the borough and something we can all be proud of.

“The free open day was the perfect opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to discover how much is on offer. Open Day visitors were given a discount Cycle Track and Pump Track voucher and I expect many will return with their friends and families.”

“The next big event for the Sports Park is hosting the start of Women’s Tour Stage 5. The biggest all-female cycle race in the world, it will see the world’s most elite women cyclists riding the Cycle Track before heading to Colchester town centre and on to Clacton in a race for the finish line. I’m sure many residents will choose to watch the riders saddle up and get set to compete at this stunning new facility.”

Cllr Paul Dundas, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “Lockdown taught us how important staying active is to our physical and mental welfare. It was great to see the Sports Park’s state-of-the-art facilities inspiring residents to exercise in a safe environment.”

The £28.8 million, 76-acre Northern Gateway Sports Park, which opened on 26 April 2021, is located just off Junction 28 of the A12 and boasts a multi-use sports centre, 1-mile Cycle Track, Pump Track, a Learn to Ride cycle area providing a safe space to learn to cycle at any age, 3G pitches, grass rugby pitches, fitness suite, exercise studios, an interactive velo studio, indoor cricket, badminton, futsal, archery – and a whole lot more.

Anyone interested in finding out more about hiring the new sport facilities, starting a membership, or exploring the open green spaces, can visit

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