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Trail investment is very good sign

A FOUR-PRONGED funding effort is lighting the way to sites of historic interest and natural wonder.

The Bolton News: Sandra Soder at the site of one of the new signs	NK1083/D Sandra Soder at the site of one of the new signs NK1083/D

Gravesham Council, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), the European URBAN group and English Heritage are funding a £223,000 improvement of the Riverside Heritage Trail.

The plan includes new and improved lighting, signs and access paths along the trail which takes in Gravesend town centre and river views.

As well as physical improvements, eight information panels will be placed at important stages to give visitors historical information about people, events and buildings.

Mayor of Gravesham Councillor John Loughlin said: "I am delighted these improvements have been introduced.

"They enable visitors and residents in the area to benefit from improved access and gain a better understanding of our riverside heritage."

Work started last September and is expected to be completed by the end of March.

Gravesend Historical Society secretary Sandra Soder said: "The panels will add a new enjoyment to the trail because people will see how life was in Gravesend and how reliant the town was on the river.

"In particular the panel on the Thames' side explaining all the sites which can be seen is wonderful. It gives visitors a real panoramic view of the water and places of interest."

Further panels appear at St George's Centre, Elizabeth Gardens, Town Pier Square, Royal Terrace Pier, St Andrew's Gardens, Gordon House and the Town Hall.

Finishing touches will see floodlights marking out the foundations of the now ruined Blockhouse, built by Henry VIII, and the 19th-century New Tavern Fort.

The work is part of the continuing regeneration of Gravesend.

Mrs Soder said: "The council and the public have been interested in the area's heritage for a long time. Fortunately money has been made available which is a step forward for Gravesend."

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