AN arts centre is on the road to creating a new activity bus after receiving £25,000.

Colchester Arts Centre has won the cash from the Aviva Community Fund after submitting an inspired business plan.

The funds will be used to transform the arts centre’s old London Routemaster bus which has been vandalised and is in a state of disrepair.

The bus will be restored to its former glory and will be used to take art into the community.

A programme of memory afternoons, arts and craft workshops for children, film screenings, talks, information points, mentoring, signposting and open access for community groups is planned.

The arts centre competed with more than 3,000 community projects around the UK to receive funding.

Anthony Roberts, director of Colchester Arts Centre, said: “We are so delighted to have won this award.

“A huge thank you to everyone who voted us.

“Our Magic Bus proposal is a radical, inventive, creative and ambitious answer to reaching out beyond the walls of our building.

“In essence it’s a simple idea, if people can’t come to us, well we shall come to


“The Magic Bus is a vehicle for the imagination, a vehicle for change, a vehicle for wellbeing.”

The project received 12,630 votes.

The refurbished bus will be able to travel to places where no provision exists.

Before the cash was granted, Mr Roberts said: “There are large numbers of people who we cannot reach.

“It may be they simply live too far away to make it easy for them to get here, or they don’t have the care support or sufficient funding.

“But people can also be

isolated within their communities through barriers of age, disability, culture and identity or other taboos and stigmas that make them vulnerable.”

The bus should run for the next ten years and could reach more than 100 people a week for six months of the year.