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GENEROUS donors have stepped forward to support a bid for cash by Colchester Archaeological Trust.

The trust wants to improve its headquarters, which are next to the site of the Britain's only Roman chariot arena, in a bid to attract more visitors.

It hopes to bid for a £50,000 grant from Cory Environmental Trust but to do so, it needs to raise ten per cent of the grant - £5,000 - by Friday.

The trust made an appeal for public support last Friday and within three days, £750 had been donated.

The money came from about 20 donors.

If the trust can get the grant, it will commission artist Anne Schwegmann-Fielding to create a life-sized chariot and charioteer for the front of Roman Circus House.

Pieces of mosaic would also be used to give an impression of how spectators would have sat in the stands of the arena.

Trust director Philip Crummy said: "We are really pleased to receive the money so far and hopefully we will get more by the deadline."

Anyone who wants to donate money, can contact the trust via www.thecolchesterarchaeologist.co.uk.