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The Fashion Editor, a new boutique offering the latest fashion and accessories for women of all ages, has opened in the historic Red Lion Yard in the heart of Colchester. The shop offers an elegant shopping experience, and stocks clothes, bags and jewellery for sophisticated women looking for reasonably priced fashion. Brands include Y.A.S, Jovonna and Ichi, amongst others.


The 336 sq ft boutique’s interior is minimalistic, with a white décor and chrome details throughout, but still offers a luxuriously warm welcoming atmosphere.


Fashion Editor is founded and owned by Jennifer Lock, a former fashion journalist with over 15 years of experience writing for the UK’s biggest fashion magazines. She regularly appeared on GMTV and radio to discuss women’s style issues. With her in-depth understanding of the industry, Lock felt compelled to set up her own business.


Lock choose Red Lion Yard for her first store, but is planning to open an additional five within a ten year period in the South East, North Essex and Cambridgeshire.


Commenting on the store, Lock said: “I’m excited about opening my first store here in Colchester. After having spent my whole career in London, leading a hectic city life, setting up a business in Colchester felt completely right. The town has all the vital ingredients for setting up a business, it’s vibrant and dynamic but idyllic at the same time and Red Lion Yard’s boutique feel made it perfect for the Fashion Editor.”



Colchester’s historic Red Lion Yard will be given a new lease of life as a boutique shopping location after planning consent was granted for a £600,000 revitalisation.

Plans to attract new shoppers and retailers through a sympathetic refurbishment were submitted to Colchester Borough Council by asset managers Sovereign Land (Management) Ltd in September. They were approved by the Council’s planners on 4 December 2013 and will see the revitalisation project commence in January.

Red Lion Yard links Colchester’s High Street with Lion Walk Shopping Centre and is home to the Grade 1 listed Red Lion Hotel. Designed by Colchester-based architects Stanley Bragg, the refurbishment will include the installation of attractive new shop fronts, painting and redecoration and improved lighting and signage.

Some of the smaller vacant units may be combined to create larger boutiques and the floor will be repaved with traditional York stone. The listed woodwork on the underside of the Red Lion Hotel entrance to Red Lion Walk will also be refurbished and returned to a brighter and more historically authentic lime-wash finish.

Max La Frenais, Director of Sovereign Land, said: “This is exciting news for Red Lion Yard which has a fascinating history but has become somewhat tired over the years.

“We’ll be investing a significant amount in creating a thriving retail hub with a boutique feel, which is sensitive to the Yard’s traditional heritage and also complements the great shopping experience already on offer at Lion Walk.”

Local surveyors Nicholas Percival are letting agents for the units in Red Lion Yard.


Lion Walk’s new centre manager is off to a roaring start after putting the official sponsorship of Colchester Zoo’s lion enclosure at the top of his to do list.

John Fleming, who lives in Blackheath, spent more than two decades in the Royal Military Police before starting a new career in shopping centre management several years ago.  He has been part of the Lion Walk management team since November 2013 and was appointed as centre manager last month.

The sponsorship of Colchester Zoo’s lion enclosure is John’s first big initiative as centre manager and forms a key part of his plans to strengthen Lion Walk’s existing partnerships and build new relationships within the town.

John, who is originally from the North East of England, said: “I was based at Colchester Garrison for 10 years and my children were born here, so it very much feels like home.

“Colchester has so much to offer and I’m proud to be part of one of its top shopping destinations.  By working together with the Council, other retailers and visitor attractions I believe we can make our fantastic town centre even better.

“Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard’s names have a natural synergy with Colchester Zoo and sponsoring the lion enclosure is a chance to celebrate this in a fun way.  We’ll be working in partnership throughout the year ahead and have lots of exciting plans up our sleeves.”

Colchester Zoo celebrated its 50th birthday last year with a herd of colourful giraffe statues placed around the town, including one at Lion Walk.  The zoo is delighted to be strengthening this link with the sponsorship of the lion enclosure and is looking forward to working in partnership with Lion Walk.

Colchester Zoo is home to a male African lion called Bailey and two lionesses called Malika and Naja. domain ip


A £600,000 revitalisation scheme designed to give Colchester’s historic Red Lion Yard a new lease of life as a boutique shopping location will begin on Monday 20 January.

Red Lion Yard links the High Street with Lion Walk Shopping Centre and is home to the Grade I listed Red Lion Hotel and a number of independent shops, delis and hairdressers. The sympathetic refurbishment will include attractive new shop fronts and improved lighting and signage as well as painting and redecoration.

Local contractors First Choice Ltd have been appointed to carry out the works which are due to be completed in summer 2014. The revitalisation begins next week with the repaving of the floor in a traditional York stone.

Over the next few months, some of the smaller vacant units will be combined to create larger boutiques. The listed woodwork on the underside of the Red Lion Hotel entrance to Red Lion Walk will also be refurbished and returned to a brighter and more historically authentic lime-wash finish.

Max La Frenais, Director of Sovereign Land, said: “Red Lion Yard is home to some fantastic local retailers but it’s no secret that there are a number of empty units too.

“The revitalisation is designed to create a boutique feel and attract the new shoppers and businesses needed to turn Red Lion Yard into a thriving retail hub. We’re looking forward to seeing the changes come to life over the next few months.”

Colchester-based architects Stanley Bragg are behind the design of Red Lion Yard’s refurbishment and local surveyors Nicholas Percival are acting as letting agents for the available units.


Lion Walk’s River Island store is excited to announce the launch of their new active wear collection. RI ACTIVE is a high performance, fashion-forward women’s sportswear range that will keep you looking great whilst working out and has everything you need to train in style. The collection focuses on fusing fashion with function, using sleek silhouettes and premium sports fabrics.

Now available in the Lion Walk Shopping Centre’s River Island store and online.


Colchester’s Lion Walk Shopping Centre and Red Lion Yard welcomed the festive season on Sunday (30 November 2014) with a day of family entertainment, a visit from Santa to switch on its Christmas lights. The annual light switch on event, which attracted 2,500 people, ended with the spectacular traditional firework show.


This year, Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard’s Christmas lights were switched on by Colchester United’s goalkeeper Sam Walker, its fluffy mascot Eddie the Eagle and Santa himself. Colchester United has recently opened a pop-up shop in Red Lion Yard that will stay open until end of January.


While tracking down the perfect gifts among Lion Walk’s big brand stores and Red Lion Yard’s quirky independents, shoppers enjoyed an afternoon of festive entertainment from local groups including the 40s harmony group Fox, Wiggle and Sass, The Valentine School of Dance, The Military Wives, Colchester Operatic Society and Theatricool.


Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard were buzzing with people from noon to the light switch on at 4.30pm and retailers across the centre have reported a successful day of trading. Costa Coffee doubled its sales compared to a normal Sunday. BHS with its three-day Black Friday event reported strong sales on the day along with Body Shop and New Look.


The Bavarian Christmas market, which is in Lion Walk until 30 December, also proved to be a huge success among shoppers wanting something warm to eat and drink on the day while temperatures were dropping.


Louise Jensen Deputy Centre Manager said: “We are very pleased with the light switch on, the Centre couldn’t have been busier. I think the combination of our big brand stores and the independent retailers, makes us such a great place for Christmas shopping. Our annual firework show is always popular and this year we had a great line up of acts to create a fun festive atmosphere.”


THE FUN DOESN’T STOP HERE – to get everyone in the Christmas spirit Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard are also putting on a busy programme of FREE festive family fun and entertainment every Saturday and every Wednesday evening, when the shops stay open to 9pm, in the run up to Christmas.


Award winning choir Funky Voices will put on a show of upbeat, foot tapping, festive songs for Wednesday’s late night shopping on 10 December to support the Rotary Club’s Christmas collection. Colchester District Pipes & Drums will provide further support to the collection on Wednesday night on 17 December.

On Saturday 13 December Colchester Operatic Society and Colchester Theatretrain will be raising the Christmas spirit in the centre.

For the final Saturday of festive entertainment (20 December) Mother Christmas makes a stop at Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard before continuing her journey back to the North Pole. She will make sure that any final Christmas wishes are reported back to Santa. Plus a brass jazz quartet will be playing festive tunes during the day.