A SOUP kitchen for rough sleepers and the vulnerable in Colchester could be made homeless as the area where it has been based for more than three decades undergoes a total revamp.

Before Covid, Colchester Soup Run, which is supported by more than 20 churches and dozens of volunteers, operated pretty much every night of the year out of space in St Nicholas Square, off St Nicholas Street.

The soup run has not been running during the pandemic, but with the area where it is based being regenerated at the moment, there are fears it may lose its home of 35 years.

After securing funding through the Government’s Town Deal fund, Colchester Council and the We Are Colchester Partnership are working on multi-million pound plans to transform St Nicholas Square.

St Nicholas Square Colchester


Set to be complete by the end of the year, plans feature space for seating, market stalls and outdoor events with wider pavements, cycle parking and a new one-way system.

As part of the plans, all but one of the loading bays in the area are set to go and the cafés, bars and restaurants in the area will have space for customers outside.

The former East of England Co-op department store, opposite the square, is also being revamped into restaurants, retail units and flats.

Read more:

Once works are complete it is not yet clear whether Colchester Soup Run will be able to return to newly-revamped St Nicholas Square.

Wendy Allen, who is chairman of Colchester Soup Run, said the group is looking for an alternative site in the town centre.

“We are actively looking for a site with vehicular access and permitted parking which is well lit and safe for our guests and volunteers,” she said.

During the pandemic Colchester Soup Run has been working with charity Beacon House, providing food and supplies for those in need.

A spokesperson for Colchester Council said no decisions had yet been made on St Nicholas Square.

“Nothing has been decided at this time and we will liaise with all the key stakeholders who could potentially be impacted by future improvements to the town centre,” he said.