Riverside walk in Tewkesbury finally finished after 67 years, Gloucestershire Echo
Press Coverage - 24/05/2016
A public path alongside the River Avon at Tewkesbury has finally been finished - 67 years after it was first planned.
The project has faced many obstacles, but thanks to funding from Tewkesbury Borough Council and Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, and a vital piece of land being gifted to the council by JD Wetherspoon, the scenic riverside walk is now complete.
The idea was first introduced in 1949 when American soldiers staying in the town left the council a small financial legacy to provide improved access to the river. Much had been achieved since then, such as the promenade in Back of Avon, but the final link in the walk had not been put in place due to a lack of access to the required section of land.
After extensive negotiations, Royal Hop Pole Hotel owner JD Wetherspoon gifted the land at the back of its building to the council in August last year so the walk could be completed.
The council then applied for and match-funded a grant of £25,000 provided by Gloucestershire Environmental Trust in order to deliver the long-awaited project.
It cost £50,000 in all, with all but £5,000 of that being spent on work on the path between November last year and now.
The council's deputy chief executive, Rachel North, said: "After years of planning, it's great to finally see the new walkway open and looking fantastic. It has been a great community project and will provide new and improved access to the scenic riverside in Tewkesbury for locals and visitors to the town."
John McLaughlin, the trust's manager, said: "This scenic walk clearly shows the relationship between the River Avon and the development of the town. It provides a beautiful riverside walk and an appreciation of the countryside beyond the far bank."
The project involved building a new footpath in blue clay pavers, adding new kerbs and bollards to the St Mary's Lane car park and extensive work to the river bank. There will also be natural stone benches and fencing added to enhance the attractiveness of the area.
The riverside walk is a priority project within the Tewkesbury Town Centre Masterplan Strategic Framework document. This is a 15-year regeneration programme for the town centre.