Historic buildings can make a substantial contribution to the environment and our sense of “place“.  They represent fixed points in our shared history and can be landmarks in an otherwise, unremarkable location.

North East Essex is fortunate in having a high density of buildings of historic interest which greatly add to the character and identity of the areas of Braintree, Colchester and Tendring.  However, a significant number of these buildings are deemed to be “at risk“.

What is the national Heritage at Risk Programme?


Historic England are responsible for publishing an annual Heritage at Risk Register which compiles national statistics on a wide range of heritage assets that receive some measure of legal protection including:

  • Listed buildings and structures
  • Places of worship
  • Archaeological sites
  • Conservation areas
  • Registered parks and gardens
  • Registered battlefields
  • Protected shipwrecks

The intention of the programme is to protect and manage our historic environment so the number of “at risk” historic places and sites across England is reduced.  The term “at risk” is used when the condition of the fabric of a building becomes a cause of concern.  In some cases, this may be no more than the existence of rotten windows but in others it can mean that the entire building is at a point of collapse.  As a part of the national picture, Historic England publish a list of findings which summaries the progress from year-to-year.  Please click here to read the statistics.

The Local Picture

The Colchester & North East Essex Building Preservation Trust exists to help bring buildings at risk back into good health.  Working with local councils, it can acquire, repair and re-sell buildings, using the proceeds to buy and restore further heritage at risk.

Buildings become at risk for a variety of reasons but most commonly because of:

  • wilful neglect
  • redundancy forced by changes in industry, technology, demography and legislation
  • buildings blighted by their surroundings
  • buildings within the curtilage of a larger building on private land
  • economically deprived location

The Trust is currently working with Colchester Borough Council on securing the repair of several, key buildings in the town centre.

1602_HAR_HAR2013CoverEssex’s Current Register

Essex County Council periodically publish, a Heritage at Risk in Essex Register, which can be accessed here.

The latest information shows the following figures for Buildings at Risk in local authority areas in 2013:

  • Braintree – 22
  • Colchester – 37
  • Tendring – 34

Source: Heritage at Risk Register (2013), Essex County Council

For a copy of the 2013 Heritage at Risk in Essex Register … please click here, or on the image above to download.

Previous copies of the registers can also be found:

  • 2011 Heritage at Risk Register  … click here to download
  • 2010 Heritage at Risk Register  … click here to download

How you can help

“Think that you know of a building which you believe is at risk?”

“Know of a local building which is being neglected?”

If so, please let us know by visiting our contact page – we could help save it!

News of progress on securing the repair of specific buildings will be posted here.

Latest News

Historic England visit Jumbo Architect appointed for Jumbo Project (7/26/2022) - Plans for Jumbo, the Grade ll* listed water tower in Colchester, have taken a step forward with the appointment of a lead architect and design team.
Big clean-up for Jumbo Summer 2022 (7/26/2022) - Volunteers took on the big task of cleaning the inside of Colchester’s unique historic water tower as part of the Jumbo Summer 2022 community activities at the landmark.
Heritage experts & MP visit Jumbo (7/26/2022) - Experts from Historic England have toured Jumbo, Colchester’s unique Victorian water tower, with Will Quince MP.
©CNEEBPT 2016 Jumbo Consultation & Exhibition (4/29/2016) - Jumbo Public Consultation & Exhibition Have your say on Jumbo’s future – drop in to our consultation exhibition at The Mercury Theatre, Colchester on Friday 20th & Saturday 21st May 2016
Jumbo purchase handshake - Paul Flatman & Simon Hall Jumbo Lease Agreed (12/17/2021) - Lease to charity safeguards Jumbo for the nation Campaigners hoping to restore Colchester’s Jumbo water tower are celebrating an historic agreement which gives them control of the landmark building.
©CNEEBPT 2016 Jumbo Options Released (5/13/2016) - CNEEBPT’s Balkerne Watertower options appraisal report is released. The Trust has now released the Jumbo Options Appraisal that has been written to establish the most feasible uses and method of saving this iconic historic monument.
Protected: Jumbo Purchase Negotiated (7/7/2015) - There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
Workshop in full session. Jumbo Summer 2019 Films (10/6/2019) - Watch the outcome from the Trust’s Jumbo Summer As part of our celebration of Jumbo Water Tower and heritage learning programme in 2019 the Trust commissioned two films from the art and education charity, Signals.
Jumbo Summer Events (5/7/2019) - The latest events in Colchester’s Jumbo Summer will take place on Saturday, May 11, with youngsters being invited to join a fun model making workshop. Later in the day, a unique collection of experts will give free talks about the construction, operation and heritage of the town’s Victorian Jumbo water tower. North Essex Heritage (NEH), formally Colchester […]
Jumbo Summer Launch (4/17/2019) - Trust launches a Jumbo Summer of heritage events with National Lottery support A charity working to give a new lease of life to Colchester’s historic Jumbo water tower has announced a series of events to celebrate the building’s unique heritage. Supported through a grant award of £10,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project […]