BIG names helped to bring more than 25,000 visitors to Colchester when they performed in Castle Park.

This summer saw Craig David, Sir Tom Jones and Tears for Fears all perform gigs.

Now figures from Colchester Commercial Holdings Ltd, Colchester Council’s commercial firm, show the concerts saw 25,000 people visit the town.

In total 12,500 fans filled out the park to hear Sir Tom belt out hits including It’s Not Unusual and Burning Down the House.

Seven Days hitmaker Craig David proved the next most popular with 8,000 people attending his gig.

Tears for Fears helped bring in a further 6,000 visitors.

The half yearly figures report, which goes before the council’s scrutiny panel tomorrow, also showed more than 75 events have taken place or are planned at Charter Hall.

This is a 30 per cent increase on previous year when 55 events were held.

The comedy programme at Charter Hall has seen ten nationally recognised comedians, including Jimmy Carr, Jason Manford and Russell Kane, performing to sell-out audiences.

The report also said wedding fairs had been held at the town hall and the castle and the Chapel on the castle roof has created a unique wedding venue.

There have also been ten sold out Christmas events arranged at the town hall.

Last year, the firm had a turnover of £4.2 million and made a £286,000 profit.

A spokesman for the council, which is the sole shareholder in the firm, said: “Colchester Commercial Holdings Ltd operates Charter Hall and other events venues on behalf of Colchester Council.

“Attracting high-profile entertainers through a vibrant programme of events and entertainment is a top priority that not only enhances the cultural life of Colchester for residents and visitors, but also boosts opportunities for local businesses via increased footfall and secondary spend in the town.”

Next summer Westlife will perform in Castle Park as the council continues to sign big name acts.

Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan and Nicky Byrne will be gracing the stage with their Stadiums in the Summer Tour in July.

When the concert was announced Liz Doogan-Hobbs, chief executive of promoters LHG Events, said: “This is an amazing show for Colchester and we are certain that fans are going to be thrilled to see the boys live at Castle Park.

“We are committed to bringing high calibre concerts to Britain’s first city.”