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Riverside walk to become a reality in Tewkesbury

Riverside walk to become a reality in Tewkesbury

A scheme aimed at creating a public path alongside the river in Tewkesbury town has taken a significant step forward.

The riverside walk, which is part of Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Tewkesbury Town Centre Master Plan, has been an aspiration for the town since 1949.

Now, thanks to joint working between the borough council, Tewkesbury Civic Society and Tewkesbury Historical Society, a vital piece of land - referred to as the missing link of the walk - has been donated, which means the walk can finally become a reality.

The idea of a riverside walk was first introduced by the mayor of Tewkesbury Cllr John Martin in 1949 as a means of regenerating Tewkesbury after the war, and while much has been achieved since then – such as the promenade in Back of Avon - the final walk has never been achieved as a result of lack of access to the required section of land. 

This month, however, John and Hilary Parrott, who were the owners of the required piece of land, have generously donated it to the borough council to make the project a reality.

The riverside walk will be funded from a £30,000 reserve that has been in the borough council’s capital programme for many years and the path will be created from Gloucester Road Car Park along the east bank of the Mill Avon towards Healings Mill which will open up the riverside on both sides.

The project has had a wide range of public input, including from the master plan’s Community Engagement Advisory Group, which is made up of representatives from Tewkesbury Town Council, Tewkesbury Regeneration Initiative, Tewkesbury Area Partnership and Tewkesbury Chamber of Commerce.

The idea of a riverside walk was also supported by members of the public at a consultation held by the master plan team in 2011.

Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Lead Member for Built Environment Cllr Derek Davies said: “This is a major step forward for this exciting project and we are delighted that we have been able to work with Mr Parrott so that this hugely anticipated walk can be established. This project will not only benefit visitors to the town but it will be a fantastic asset for local residents to enjoy.”

John Dixon President of Tewkesbury Historical Society said: “At long last the land for the missing link has been purchased and, with the long term cooperation of the owners of the Hope Pole, we can now complete the riverside walk and promote Tewkesbury's importance as a riverside town.

Alan Purkiss, Chairman of Tewkesbury Civic Society said: “I had almost given up hope of seeing this happen in my lifetime. There is now a great opportunity to rejuvenate this stretch of river and make it something to be hugely proud of.”

The next step for the project is to complete the design stage, which is now underway, and for the borough council to let a contract for the work to install interpretation boards, fencing, street furniture and appropriate paths and signing.

Explore Gloucestershire
17 April 2013 

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