Parts of Towerlands earmarked for closure

PUBLISHED: 16:44 17 August 2011 | UPDATED: 17:23 17 August 2011

Tough times: An aerial view of Towerlands and (inset) a map showing where the complex is

Tough times: An aerial view of Towerlands and (inset) a map showing where the complex is

Archant

AN EVENT complex is set to almost completely close down after running up substantial losses since it was refurbished in 2004.

Towerlands, situated between Rayne and the west side of Braintree, will be shutting down the “vast majority” of its functions at the end of August.

Owners The Unex Group said the closures were “inevitable” after losses had run into millions of pounds.

The 130-acre site was used for hundreds of events, varying from equestrian competitions and agricultural shows to music concerts and business conferences.

Now only the golf club and one building used for conferencing will remain.

Any events arranged from the beginning of September have been cancelled or rearranged.

Wendy Tsang a spokesman for Unex said: “Unfortunately the venue has run up at a substantial loss over the last seven years, such losses run into millions and the closure was inevitable.

“It is intended to investigate alternative uses for the site which includes the building of an exhibition centre that could rival, to a lesser extent, the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands.”

Other future uses could also include commercial offices, a research centre or more housing for the area, all of which could create employment. But all ideas are dependent on the economy improving first.

Mrs Tsang added: “We believe in a mixed use scheme that provides for sustainability, less movement of people from homes to their work places and so forth.

“It is our intention to hold on to the site, take a long term view and work together with the community to take the site forward.”

Towerlands was built by Thomas Hunnable in the 1980s, he wanted to create the finest equestrian and leisure centre in the UK. Up until mid-2004 it was successfully run by his family.

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