I AM writing in support of the current bid by North Essex Heritage to make Jumbo a national heritage attraction (Gazette, April 9, “Vision for stunning revamp of iconic Jumbo is revealed”).

The potential funding of this from Colchester’s award of £18.2million from the Government’s Town Fund is the best chance in the last 30 years to finally restore the famous grade II* listed landmark.

This unique opportunity coincides with the completion of the rebuilt Mercury Theatre, and the already planned and funded enhancements to the Balkerne Gate area.

A restored and publicly-accessible Jumbo, gloriously illuminated at night, would complete the wonderful collection of cultural assets in this area – the Mercury, the Colchester Arts Centre and the largest remaining Roman gate in Britain – all set in an attractive public space with nearby pubs and restaurants.

A cultural quarter to be proud of, attracting residents and visitors alike, and exactly the kind of experience-centred activity towns need to offer in the age of the internet.

Let us celebrate our emergence from the shutdown of the past year, with the final inclusion of the magnificent Jumbo as a fully-restored and economically active heritage asset of our historic town.

Brian Light

Chairman, Balkerne Tower Trust

Pownall Crescent, Colchester