The Theatres Trust

Businessman behind Colchester theatre nursery plans submits application to Council

11th November 2011

A businessman has been unveiled as the possible new owner of Colchester’s former Garrison Theatre. Tim Fergus, who grew up in Colchester, is planning on turning the site into a nursery, eventually employing up to 25 full-time staff. If the plans, submitted to Colchester Council this week, are given the thumbs-up, Mr Fergus hopes the nursery will be open in six to nine months.

Although he has not revealed how much he will be spending on the site, Mr Fergus, 42, said the building needed at least £200,000 to refurbish it.

Mr Fergus, a former technology consultant who was made redundant more than a year ago, said he wanted to give something back to the community. He said: “I have been looking to do this for quite a while, but I was trying to find the right building. It’s going to be a challenge. It’s a new business venture for me. I would hope Colchester Council will take a good view on the plan and the local community too.”

Mr Fergus said he hoped the nursery would serve the families moving into new housing on the former garrison site. Last week the Redeemed Christian Church of God revealed it had been told by developer Taylor Wimpey it would no longer be taking over the former theatre, losing thousands of pounds in the process.

Church members were left “in tears” following the last-minute decision. Mr Fergus said he could understand why they were upset. He added: “If there’s any way we could work with them to provide a facility then we would try and do that.”

The contracts have yet to be signed and exchanged with Taylor Wimpey.

Source: Daily Gazette

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Stage and Wurlitzer organ at Worthing's Assembly Hall, from rear of balcony, May 2011.
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