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Builder backs preservation of Roman Circus
A DEVELOPER has voiced support for plans to preserve Colchester’s Roman Circus.
Taylor Wimpey is building on part of the site, which was discovered in 2004.
There have been efforts to preserve it, including a failed bid by Colchester Council for £1million of lottery funding to build a visitors’ area.
Since then, Destination Colchester has been set up, with a brief to keep in public ownership as much as possible of the chariot racing circus’ footprint.
The group, which includes Colchester Archaeological Trust director Philip Crummy and historian Jess Jephcott, has suggested creating a grass mound to mark the site of the circus, which is underground.
It also wants a visitor centre set up within the Old Sergeants’ mess, where eight starting gates were unearthed, and part of the track to be recreated.
Amy Taylor, a spokeswoman for Taylor Wimpey, said it had not been approached, but wanted to help preserve the site.
She said: “Taylor Wimpey continues to support and encourage Colchester Council in its valiant efforts to enhance, present and interpret this monument to its best advantage.”
Taylor Wimpey has planning consent to convert the mess into homes, but Destination Colchester has suggested they be built on another site within the redevelopment.
Alternatively, the mess could be bought, possibly using funds from a lottery grant, a public appeal or private equity.