FRESH plans show how a new scheme at Colchester's Vineyard Gate could look.

In February, Colchester Council appointed architects GT3 to look at potential opportunities for a mixed-use scheme on the historic 2.5-acre town centre site.

It is currently occupied by the Vineyard Gate car park and a number of surrounding properties.

The new scheme is set to combine residential, commercial, leisure and boutique retail uses, drawing residents and visitors into the town centre from Osbourne Street and Eld Lane.

Other key aspects of the proposal include exposing and illuminating the Roman Wall, providing quality new public open space and reinstating the old Vineyard Street - to create a contemporary shopping and leisure experience sympathetic to the historic setting.

Tim Young, the council's Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture, said: “I’m excited by these initial concept plans, which will provide a vibrant and much-needed new focus for Vineyard Gate.

“This imaginative new proposal will regenerate this site, bringing new jobs and homes to the local area, and continue the transformation of St Botolph's and the town centre.”

Director of GT3 Simon Dunstan said: “The comprehensive redevelopment of Vineyard Gate will create a contemporary, mixed-use destination with strong physical and historical connections with the town centre and adjoining developments.

“Combining a wide range of uses, spaces and activities, the development will create a unique, new neighbourhood with a strong sense of community and identity and, in so doing, attract investment and act as a catalyst for future regeneration in the area.”