THE group which discovered Colchester's famous Roman circus has received £5,000 in donations - just in the nick of time.

Colchester Archaeological Trust wanted to bid for a £50,000 grant from Cory Environmental Trust.

But it needed to raise ten per cent of the grant within a week to meet the deadline.

It appealed for donations and the public came up trumps.


Trust director Philip Crummy said: "I am delighted we have received £5,000.

"We are grateful for both the money and the support.

"The fact the money came from individuals so quickly shows us how much support there is for the circus and the development of the heritage project."

If is wins the grant, the trust will commission artist Anne Schwegmann-Fielding to create a life-sized chariot and charioteer for the front of Roman Circus House which is next to the site of the Roman circus.

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

Mr Crummy said: "We really want to improve the whole experience, there is great enthusiasm to do it."