A CAFE and museum showcasing one of the most remarkable Roman finds in Europe is set to close to the public for the second time in a year.

Claudius Gateway café, opposite Colchester Castle, showcases Roman ruins dating back almost 2,000 years.

Through a glass floor, visitors can see a section of a massive arcade.

The arcade formed the front of the imposing Temple of Claudius, upon which the Norman castle now sits.

During Claudius’s reign, the Roman Empire began the conquest of Britain.

Flying Trade Group decided to showcase the discovery as part of plans to build apartments and a café.

The volunteer-run cafe and museum opened in May 2017, but closed last November due to a lack of support.

The company later teamed up with Colchester Rough Sleepers Group to get the café back up and running in July.

Profits were split between the charity and the company’s World Food Aid charity division.

But a spokesman for the Rough Sleepers Group confirmed it could no longer play a part in running the café.

In a post shared with supporters, he said: “Colchester Rough Sleepers Group has accepted the resignation of Vic Flores, project manager, and would like to wish him all the best for the future.

“He has had to stand down for health reasons and we hope he has a full and speedy recovery.

“The immediate impact of Vic’s departure is that the café Claudius Gateway will close.

“The group will now consolidate around its original aims, providing an extra tool in the range of services for supporting rough sleepers in Colchester.”

The group operates a converted bus, which is used to support rough sleepers.

Speaking to the Gazette, a spokesman said: "A full audit of the charity is under way at present, as is normal before an annual report for full transparency. 

"Over the summer, CRSG collaborated with the Surya Group, who provided us with a fully functional cafe in order to help fund our work.

"The operational running of the cafe was managed by CRSG.

"This came into difficulty and we have consequently submitted our formal notice to the Surya Group that we wish to withdraw close with immediate effect."

"CRSG is re-grouping at present and will be back on track very soon in a fully voluntary capacity.

"The trustees are grateful for the invaluable support they have received and continues to receive from supporters across the town.

"Our original aims were to support rough sleepers in Colchester, and we are proud that we have been able to, and that we also have a good grounding for that support to continue."

A Flying Trade Group spokesman said: “World Food Aid collaborated with Colchester Rough Sleepers, aiding them with a fully functional café to help with the sustainability of their charity.

“The operational running of the café, which was fully managed by Colchester Rough Sleepers Group, came into difficulty.

“Consequently, we have received formal notice from them that they wish to close with immediate effect.”

The Gazette approached Mr Flores for further comment but he had not responded at the time of going to press.