PLANS to bring water fountains into the town centre and light up the borough’s heritage have been unveiled by council bosses.

Both ideas are part of Colchester Council’s Better Colchester plan which will see £2million invested over the next two years.

The drinking fountains will also support the authority’s pledge to help reduce single-use plastic bottles and the council has commissioned Colchester Borough Homes to carry out a formal and costed feasibility study.

Up to five locations will be considered for the fountains which include reopening old water fountains and providing new modern ones.

It is hoped the study will be finished by the end of the this month and the fountains ready to be in action by next summer.

Some sites may require planning permission.

Council resource boss David King (Lib Dem) said the fountains would have a series of benefits.

He said: “We want more residents and visitors to join the refill revolution, to move away from single use plastic bottles and to keep healthy and hydrated.

“I know the water fountains will be received as practical, helpful and welcoming.

“I hope this can also include a revival of our older water fountains.

“We need to take every opportunity we can to make the most of our history and our heritage.

“Our Better Colchester campaign is helping make this happen and I am proud we’re taking this action.”

Amongst the areas the council are planning to light up include the war memorial in Cowdray Crescent, Sir Isaac’s Walk and more of Colchester’s Roman Wall.

The council has already applied for scheduled monument consent to light up the war memorial.

The new scheme will see uplighters placed at the front and side of this landmark.

A colourfully installation in Sir Isaac’s Walk will be installed in February next year.

Brightly-coloured, illuminated umbrellas will be temporarily put in across 85m of the street in a bid to give visitors and businesses a better view during the dark winter months.

Research and feasibility studies are also taking place to look at how a further segment of Colchester’s Roman Wall could be lit.

The council is working with various other agencies to look at how this could be best delivered, whilst protecting the history of the site.

Investigations are also ongoing on the best way to improve the lighting of Colchester Castle after dark which council bosses believe are in need of an upgrade.

Plans could include new LED, colour-changing lighting which will be installed in a small bunker to improve the aesthetics of the area.

Lighting will also play an important role in the council’s First World War commemorations, when Colchester Castle will be lit up with poppies on the evenings of this weekend.

Conservative group leader Darius Laws has made various calls over several years for Colchester’s heritage assets to be lit up.

Mr Laws, who represents the town centre, has spent portions of his locality budget arranging for iconic water tower Jumbo to be illuminated.

Deputy leader of the council and culture portfolio holder Tim Young (Lab) said the projects would take time but he was keen to make progress.

He said: “Some of the key parts of our Better Colchester campaign are to make Colchester even more welcoming and to celebrate our heritage.

“We’ve already put plans in place to improve the lighting of the war memorial and I’m excited to see our umbrella installation coming to life.

“Lighting up another section of our Roman Wall is something I want to achieve.

“It will take time, but we are carrying out intense studies to check the feasibility and we’ll keep residents updated on our progress.”