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Work on completing Tewkesbury's riverside walk starts 66 years after plans revealed, Gloucestershire Echo

Press Coverage - 08/12/2015

Gloucestershire Echo - Tewkesbury Riverside Walk

Work on finishing a riverside walk in Tewkesbury is finally under way, 66 years after the idea was first planned.

Some people in the town had thought they would never see the project, dogged by land ownership issues, be completed.

In April 2013 the borough council announced that it was finally due to be finished but then further delays occurred.

Now, though, work on finishing the public pathway alongside the east side of the River Avon has begun.

Thanks to a vital piece of land that has been released to the council by JD Wetherspoon and subsequent funding from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, the completion of the scenic walk is now set to become a reality.

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. While much has been achieved since then - such as the promenade in Back of Avon - the final link in the walk has never been achieved as a result of lack of access to the required section of land.

But after extensive negotiations, JD Wetherspoon gifted the final vital piece of land to the council in August so that the walk could be completed.

The council, more recently, applied for and match-funded a grant of £25,000 provided by Gloucestershire Environmental Trust in order to deliver the long-awaited project.

The council's lead member for finance and asset management, Councillor Dave Waters, said: "We are delighted that we are finally able to start work on this beautiful walkway after years of planning.

"It has been a great community-led project and will provide new and improved access to the scenic riverside in Tewkesbury.

"Once the walk is finished it will not only benefit visitors to the town but it will be a fantastic asset for local residents to enjoy."

The work will involve building a section of the path, which will include metal railings, a new footpath in blue clay pavers, 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.

Council bosses expect the work to be completed in spring 2016.

The riverside walk idea was supported by members of the public at a consultation event held by the Tewkesbury Town Centre Master Plan team in 2011.

Photo: Borough councillors Mike Sztymiak and Dave Waters and Gloucestershire Environmental Trust Manager John McLaughlin on the riverside walk