THE organisers of Colchester's very first Soapbox Rally have said "considerable changes" will be made to the event when it returns to the city next year.

Colchester’s inaugural Soapbox Rally whizzed down the High Street back in September, wowing thousands of spectators and helping businesses with a 35 per cent increase in sales.

The colourful karts which went head-to-head were launched from an 8ft high ramp before speeding along a 300-metre track towards the finish line near Long Wyre Street.

Those behind the thrilling race have heralded the first event as a huge success but have now revealed some significant alterations will be made to its forthcoming follow-up.

Gazette: Speedy - The Extreme Gardening Racers heading down the track at this year's eventSpeedy - The Extreme Gardening Racers heading down the track at this year's event (Image: Jess Walker - Colchester BID)

Sam Good, Business Improvement District manager, has said he is hoping to improve the experience for both those watching from the side-lines and those behind the wheel.

"Following the success of the 2023 Soapbox Rally, it was a no-brainer to bring the event back for its second year," he said.

“The event will continue as a free, family friendly event with increased entertainment throughout the day alongside the racing.

“The event will remain on the High Street as per the 2023 event with considerable changes to the make-up of the track, ramps and kart specifications to maximise kart performance.”

After the first rally, some spectators offered feedback on how the event could be improved, with many soapbox enthusiasts asking for a change of road to speed things up.

However, due to safety concerns, certain roads and hills in Colchester have been deemed unsuitable for the annual spectacle, according to Sam.

Gazette: Exiciting - The Going Extinct's soapbox kart going down the rampExiciting - The Going Extinct's soapbox kart going down the ramp (Image: Jess Walker - Colchester BID)

He said: “We acknowledge this will disappoint those asking for a North Hill track however this simply cannot be done having been rejected by insurers and Essex Highways for safety reasons.

“East Hill and Queen Street are also not viable options for the event due to safety and crowd control considerations.”

Michelle Burrows, Colchester councillor responsible for leisure, culture, and heritage, is delighted the return of the rally has been confirmed.

She said: “Following the resounding success of this year’s inaugural event, which brought thousands of people to Colchester as part of our Year of Celebration, we are delighted to confirm the Soapbox Rally will once again take to the streets next year.

“We are incredibly grateful to Our Colchester BID for their hard work and dedication in organising this fantastic event, and we are delighted to be working with them again to bring the Soapbox Rally back to Colchester in 2024.

“We are confident the Soapbox Rally will be even bigger and better in 2024, and we encourage everyone to come along and join us for this unforgettable event.”

Applications for the second Colchester Soapbox Rally, which will take place on September 15, will open in the New Year.