CASH handed to Colchester because thousands of homes have been built in the borough will be spent on a host of projects, it has been revealed.

Colchester Council has revealed part of the £730,000 of the New Homes Bonus moneywill go towards studies looking at ways to cut congestion in the rapidly-growing north and east of the town.

Further cash will go towards projects which could allow the council to make more money in the future.

The bonus is awarded to local authorities which allow new-build homes to be built by developers.

Anne Turrell, deputy leader and councillor responsible for economic development, admitted part of the New Homes Bonus had previously been used to top up the budget and compensate for falling Government grants However, she said this would no longer happen.

She added: “We want to use it to help communities and generate more income, so we can offer frontline services and keep council tax down.

"I suspect most councils believe in the future they won’t receive any grant from the Government, so we need to prepare ourselves so we can still run basic services.”

About £145,000 will be spent on improving links and signs between the town centre and North Station, and a study on encouraging more car sharing, cycling and walking