PLANS to better utilise an iconic heritage asset in Colchester are set to be considered.

Residents are being invited to take part in a public consultation on the future of St Botolph’s Priory and its surrounding grounds.

Colchester Council wants ideas from the public on how the area could be used better, including for things such as community events as well as lighting the priory up at night.

The authority has launched an online consultation where residents can share their views.

Mike Lilley, councillor responsible for communities, wellbeing and public safety, said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for residents to have their say on how this important heritage site in Colchester is used in the future.

“It would be fantastic to see bustling community events taking place in the space and breathing life once again into this important landmark in Colchester’s history.

“If you have any ideas on how this space could be used please take five minutes to let us know. “

The grade-I listed structure, one of the first Augustinian priories in England, attracts thousands of visitors from across the UK and further afield each year.

Today, only the ruins of the 12th century building remain but there are a number of interpretation panels at the site for visitors to the site.

However problems with anti-social behaviour have blighted the area, with police investigating drug dealing and street drinking amongst the ruins in the past.

READ MORE: Drug dealing in Colchester must be stopped

The area is subject to a public spaces protection order.

The council say the consultation will shape the future use of the priory and its grounds.

Julie Young, councillor responsible for culture and performance, said: “Consultations such as these are important for us to be able to take steps to continue to promote our key heritage attractions and preserve them for generations to come.”

To have your say in the consultation visit