GALE force winds wreaked havoc on a colourful display of coloured brollies in Colchester town centre... three weeks after it was installed.

Since it was completed last month, residents had praised the Colchester Council led initiative for brightening up the entrances to Culver Square shopping centre.

However unseasonal weather, with wind speeds reaching up to 50 miles an hour, meant the brollies took a real battering over the weekend.

In the high winds several were blown out of position and staff from Culver Square were called in to assess the damage, using scaffolding to check the area was safe.

A spokesperson for Colchester Borough Council said: “Following Saturday’s high winds, which damaged parts of the installation, contractors will visit the site tomorrow to complete repairs.

“This type of display, which has been installed in other locations around the country, has been safety-tested to withstand severe weather, but unfortunately the very strong winds have taken a toll on some parts of the structure, which may possibly need replacing.

“We are continuing to work closely with the suppliers and Culver Square to ensure visitors can continue to enjoy this extremely popular attraction throughout the summer, as well as exploring the possibility of using the framework for further displays after the current one is removed later this year.”

The umbrellas installation was designed to draw in visitors and features purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red umbrellas, some of which light up after dark.

The scheme had stalled earlier this year when the plug was pulled on the project in Sir Isaac’s Walk. Months of work had already taken place but on the day it had been due to be installed contractors raised concerns regarding the suitability of the buildings.

However the council went back to the drawing board and teamed up with Colchester’s Business Improvement District and Culver Square to bring it to fruition.

Colchester Council has not revealed how much it cost other than to say it is part of its £2 million Better Colchester investment.