EXCAVATION work is to take place on the site of Colchester’s Queen Street bus depot ahead of plans to pour millions of pounds into building a digital creative hub.

The former bus depot was demolished earlier this month with £4.7 million being invested to rejuvenate the land.

Before work begins on the digital creative hub, however, archaeologists are going to explore the site, which could contain Roman artefacts dating back thousands of years.

In the early 1900s, Colchester’s Theatre Royal was also in Queen Street, and it is hoped the excavations, which will be undertaken by Colchester Archaeological Trust, will identify some of the building’s remains after the venue burned down in 1918.

Colchester Archaeological Trust’s Adam Wightman said the excavations were a source of great excitement for those working on the project.

He said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for us to learn more about the layout of the Roman town and to boost our understanding of Colchester’s unique heritage.

“We’re excited to see what we might discover and look forward to sharing our learnings with the public.”

Previous projects the trust has run, however, have found archaeological remains at the site have been poorly preserved.

Despite this, the trust is hoping to find remains of a Roman street that ran alongside the inside of the town wall and evidence of occupation and industry from the medieval and post-medieval periods.

Previous excavations which have taken place at a number of sites in the city including both the former Williams and Griffin store in Colchester High Street where the Fenwick treasure was discovered.

Artefacts were also found at the former site of Essex County Hospital in Lexden Road and the site of Britain's only chariot racing circuit near Roman Circus Way.

Adam Fox, the council’s portfolio holder for culture and heritage explained the excavations would allow people to learn more about Colchester’s past.

He said: “Ensuring that all our sites are thoroughly examined is an important part of the development process – making the most of the opportunity to find out more about the history and heritage of our area as we take the city into the next chapter.”