THE group which aims to create a novelty shopping area in Colchester is considering becoming a charity in order to access hundreds of thousands of pounds of grant funding.

Colchester’s town centre businesses and retailers have backed plans to create a signposted route from Priory Street to Balkerne Lane, taking in the Roman wall.

The project would include the small shops in Short Wyre Street, Sir Isaac’s Walk, Trinity Street and Church Street. 

Ron Levy, secretary of Colchester Business Association, which is backing the scheme, said: “By being a charity or a company, it makes funding more available.

“We saw it with the £500,000 being allocated for the old police station, which I hope will not act against us when we start to apply.

“At this point, funding is the most important thing. We have the support, no question.”

The group plans to apply for money from organisations such as English Heritage.

Originally put forward by Colchester Council, it is understood traders are keen to take the lead in the project.

At a meeting yesterday, four people volunteered to join a project steering group. Mr Levy hopes to have ten in total.

A second meeting, to fill the remaining vacancies, has been set up on March 7, in Lion Walk Church, at 6pm.