The 17 new shops, restaurants and venues set to open in Essex in 2020
About This Event
The county is home to a great selection of shops, leisure activities, and retail parks - but we are always excited for more.
Now that we have entered a new year and new decade, Essex is in store for plenty of new places to visit.
From luxury shops and restaurants to gyms and supermarkets, there are some exciting things to look forward to in 2020.
The 17 things opening in Essex in 2020:
1. Harrods - H Beauty
Last October, London retailer Harrods revealed plans to open its first store outside of the city.
The department store, which is more than 170 years old, will open its new beauty store - H Beauty - in Lakeside Shopping Centre.
It will be the first standalone Harrods store outside of the capital and will be followed by another in Milton Keynes.
Chanel, Sioe and Huda Beauty are just a few of the brands that will be amongst the luxury products sold there.
Beauty services will also be available at the store, such as blow-dries and facials.
As well as being a hub for all things beauty, the store will also feature a "coffee-to-cocktail" bar for shoppers to stop for a refreshment.
Harrods said that the opening of the store is part of it's efforts to "disrupt the UK beauty landscape".
H Beauty is set to open at Lakeside in the spring.
2. Hobbycraft in Colchester
The arts and craft giant Hobbycraft is set to open in Colchester this year.
It was confirmed earlier this month, (January 2020), that the store would be opening at Tollgate in Stanway.
Many haberdashery lovers were delighted by the news as they currently have to travel to Chelmsford or Ipswich to shop at the nearest branch.
It is expected to open in the new unit where 'SeaPets' used to be before it closed and was demolished back in 2017.
It's not known exactly when the new store will be up and running but it is set to bring five full-time and ten part-time jobs.
3. Kate Spade New York - Braintree Village
Essex's designer outlet, Braintree Village (formerly known as Freeport) has a new arrival coming this year.
The New York fashion brand will be opening next to the recently opened Polo Ralph Lauren store.
Kate Spade is known for it's luxury handbags, shoes, jewellery and home decor.
The store at Braintree Village will be the first in Essex and are currently recruiting staff.
It is set to open it's doors this spring.
4. Clacton-on-Sea Retail Park
A huge retail park has been planned for Clacton-on-Sea.
It would be built on the site of the former gas works off Old Road.
The proposed site would have 14 different units including shops, a gym, a tyre centre and a drive-thru McDonald's.
The retail park doesn't yet have a name, but it is believed that it could open by summer 2020.
It is expected to create around 80 jobs for local residents.
5. Lidl Colchester
A new Lidl supermarket is set to open in Colchester this year, and will be moving into the former Homebase store in St Andrew's Avenue.
Plans for the branch, which will sit opposite Waitrose, were unanimously approved last June and work began at the end of 2019.
An opening date has yet to be decided.
6. Lidl Canvey Island
Canvey Island are also seeing the arrival of the low cost supermarket Lidl this year.
The new store will be in Northwick Road, and is expected to open in the summer, whilst bringing 40 new jobs to the local area.
Plans were approved for the store last year and construction began in in late 2019.
7. KK Korean Colchester
The town will see a new Korean restaurant opening in 2020.
KK Korean - The Kinchi Kingdom will be find its new home in Queen Street.
In December 2019 it was announced that the plan was to open the restaurant in the former Essex Cares building, opposite Curzon Cinema.
The new Korean restaurant is believed to bring four full-time and three part-time jobs.
8. Authentico Chelmsford
There is also a new Italian restaurant is opening in Chelmsford.
Signs for 'Authentico' have appeared in the former Zagger store in Baddow road.
On the covered up windows, it says: "Your new authentic Italian restaurant is being freshly prepared."
An opening date is yet to be confirmed, but it will bring a fresh face for diners in the city.
9. PureGym Colchester
There will also be a new 24/7 gym is set to open in Colchester this March.
PureGym will be converting the old DW Sports unit at Colchester Retail Park, in Sheepen Road, into a brand new gym.
It will be in the same park as Matalan and Choice, right next to Colchester Institute and only a short walk from Colchester Sixth Form College.
14 new jobs will be created and gym users will be able to go for a work-out at whatever time suits them.
There will also be a takeaway restaurant opening inside.
Gym memberships start from just £10.99 per month.
10. Mace Playce City Centre
One of the most popular soft play centres in Essex is opening a second venue.
Mace Playce already has a centre in Springfield, Chelmsford, but will soon be opening another in the city centre.
The new play space will be located in the former Blockbuster store along Springfield Road.
It will be next to Iceland, and opposite the Bond Street Tesco.
They haven't released an opening date yet, but have hinted on Facebook that it could be some time in March.
11. Energie Fitness Braintree
This Spring, Braintree will see a new gym, with Energie Fitness set to open in March on Skitts Hill, near Notley High School.
It will occupy the old Speedy Hire car centre and offer a variety of cardio equipment, free weights and resistance equiptment.
Classes and personal trainers will also be part of the new gym.
12. Mercury Theatre Colchester
The Mercury Theatre has been one of the biggest attraction in Colchester for many years.
Last year, it was closed for refurbishment and all of the shows have instead been performed in a tent on Abbey Field.
But the theatre is due to open with it's new face lift this September.
A huge variety of shows will return at The Mercury, from pantomimes to dance, and even world famous comedians.
13. Air ambulance airbase
A brand new air base for the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance service is set to open in North Weald.
As well as housing aircraft, and vehicles, the base will include space for training, mentoring, patient liaison and cross training with other emergency services.
There will also be a visitors centre where supporters can engage with staff, and to create a space for fundraising teams.
A one off £4.5 million government grant is paying for the new base, which is due to open in December 2020.
The old Argos store in Chelmsford city centre is set to be turned into a TGI Friday's restaurant.
Plans for the American diner have been in place for a few years now, but no opening date has been announced.
There were reports it could open before Christmas last year but it never did.
The city waits for classic burgers, steaks and iconic cocktails.
15. Cosy Club Chelmsford
Another restaurant due to open in the old Argos building is Cosy Club.
The restaurant and bar says they aim to 'make everyone feel splendid' by offering a great menu.
From burgers, to tapas and a large cocktail menu, they cater to all dining tastes.
It's expected that they will open towards the end of 2020.
16. Pure Gym Chelmsford
Pure Gym will also be built in the former Argos building alongside the new restaurants.
It offers contract-free memberships so customers are not tied down, and have a great range of fitness classes.
A date has not yet been set for the opening, but they have said they are 'coming soon'.
17. Stane Retail Park
It is believed that work will soon begin on Stane Retail Park in Stanway, Colchester.
The park will be built opposite Sainsbury's and next to the Stane Leisure Park which opened last year.
It has already been announced that B&Q, Aldi and a M&S Foodhall will be opening there.
If current plans go ahead, work could start in March and it's reported that it could open by Christmas 2020.