COLCHESTER Town Hall will this weekend be flying the rainbow flag as a show of solidarity and support for LGBTQ+ residents.

The timing coincides with the Colchester Has Pride event, which is taking place on Saturday.

The decision comes after council leader Mark Cory was approached resident Blake Roberts, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, after the High Street building flew the St George's flag during the World Cup.

Mr Roberts said: "As an avid football fan, I thought it was great that the town hall was flying the St George’s Flag to support the England football team’s efforts in Russia earlier in the summer.

"It gave me the idea that the same could be done to coincide with Colchester Has Pride this weekend, so I contacted Councillor Cory to see if the council could show the same level of support to local LGBTQ+ people.”

He added: "It may not seem like an important action to some, but for members of our community, to have the local authority showing that it not only welcomes LGBTQ+ people to Colchester but it does so openly is really validating."

Mr Cory added: “It was a no brainer for me when I was approached about flying the flag for Pride.

"As the first openly gay council leader in Colchester, I can understand why it is important to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community in this small way.”

He added: "I have made it clear, that under my leadership I want to make everyone in our community feel welcomed.

"I have done, and will do, many events to celebrate and acknowledge the diverse community groups within our borough.

"The Colchester Has Pride event celebrates love, culture and community.”

Colchester Has Pride takes place at Firstsite on Saturday between 11am and 10pm.

The daytime celebrations will involve a variety of family-friendly events before an evening of more adult-themed entertainment.