Students Staff

11 December 2009

Essex backs Save Roman Circus campaign

The University of Essex has joined the battle to save Colchester's Roman circus by donating £5,000 to the campaign.

The starting gates of the Roman chariot racing track have been uncovered in the gardens of the Sergeants Mess building in Colchester, currently owned by developer Taylor Wimpey.

The developer has agreed to sell the site for £750,000 and a fundraising consortium has already managed to raise more than £500,000. However, Taylor Wimpey has given the consortium until the end of January to raise all the money to finance the project.

With Colchester’s Roman circus being the only Roman chariot racing track found in the UK, local historians are desperate to save the site as a legacy for the future.

Announcing the University’s donation, Registrar and Secretary Dr Tony Rich said: 'This is a one-off opportunity to protect a vital part of Colchester's Roman heritage which is under threat of being lost for generations to come.

'The University is pleased to support such an important project which involves protecting a fundamental part of Colchester's and our national heritage. It will also allow important further research and development of our knowledge of the town's history and leave open the potential for developing an important visitor attraction for the town.'

Bill Hayton, co-ordinator of the Save Colchester’s Roman Circus campaign, said: ‘We are fantastically grateful for the University pledging money to the campaign.’

For more details contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 872400 or e-mail
To pledge money to the Save Colchester’s Roman Circus campaign visit

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