DONORS to the Gazette-backed appeal to raise funds to save Colchester’s Roman circus will be publicly thanked as part of an exhibition.

Colchester Archaeological Trust is mounting a display at Colchester Library to update visitors on its plan for a heritage centre at the site of the ancient chariot-racing arena, which was unearthed in 2004.

It will include a list of all the major contributors who helped raise £200,000 towards buying an old Army building as a venue for the heritage centre.

The remains of the circus’s starting gates are buried in the garden.

Trust director Philip Crummy said: “The exhibition will be a public thank you and an update on where we are and where we are hoping to go with the project.”

As well as the proposals for the heritage centre, the library display will give an overview of the circus’s discovery.

A selection of entries in a Colchester photographic competition, run by the trust, will also be exhibited, along with submissions for two children’s contests.

Youngsters were asked to design their own chariots and write poems about an imagined day out at the arena in Roman times.

Visitors will also be able to test their knowledge of Colchester with a quiz on architectural features of the town centre.

Members of the trust will be at the library on Saturday mornings and occasionally at other times during the exhibition, which runs from this Saturday until Thursday, November 11.

The heritage centre plans will be considered by the council’s planning committee.

The trust is also offering a private investor the chance to buy about a third of the former Army building, in Le Cateau Road, known as the sergeants’ mess, for development as a town house.