A PROJECT to restore paupers' graves at Ridgmont Cemetery in Horwich has secured funding.

Members of Horwich Town Council agreed to fund the initiative, which is being led by Horwich Heritage, with a maximum of £2,800 being made available.

Councillors said an exact figure for the cost of the project would become clearer once more work is done to investigate how many people will feature on the memorial.

Plaques featuring the names of people buried there will be put up, as well as a commemorative stone, with a book of remembrance also being installed at the Horwich Heritage Centre.

The plaques and stone would need to be approved by Bolton Council before it they are installed, which organisers hope will be some time next year.

Paupers' graves refer to graves which were paid for at public expense, because the person's family could not afford one themselves.

Cllr Joyce Kellett, leader of the town council, said: "One of the first men to be buried there was just 19 years old.

"The aim of this is to get every single person named, to respect those people who died and were buried there so long ago, and we will have a wonderful presentation when it is completed."

Cllr Chris Root added: "I think the project will probably cost a lot less than £2,800, but that will be the maximum figure.

"I think it is going to be quite a long project but we hope it will be unveiled next year."

The cemetery, in Chorley Old Road, was originally opened in 1920, and the first burial in the paupers' site, which is on the top side of the cemetery adjacent to Fleet Street, was on February 27, 1928.

The project came after residents reported that the signs and markings in a section of the cemetery have become badly deteriorated and called on councillors for assistance.