The launch of the new and improved Newton-le-Willows Heritage Trail and Health Walk, a six mile circular walk which celebrates and remembers the town’s rich heritage, has been hailed a success.
Dozens of residents turned out to see the ribbon cutting ceremony in Earlestown’s Market Square and take part in the first walk, blessed by some of the nicest weather this year.
The Heritage Trail was formally opened by the Mayor of St Helens, Councillor Dave Banks, and MP for St Helens North, Conor McGinn.
After securing grants from Cory Environmental Trust in Britain (CETB), St Helens Council, Newton-le-Willows Rotary Club and Newton and Earlestown Community Group (NECG) – along with with local history groups, schools, doctors, and other community organisations – have designed and installed interpretation boards at key locations around town which give details of the areas rich industrial heritage and information about many different interesting local landmarks, including Randall’s Arch and Newton-le-Willows train station.
There are also a range of resources available for schools to use to access the information along the trail, and a leaflet promoting the health benefits of walking, running, or cycling the route.
Angela Haymonds, CETB Trust Secretary, said: “The CETB Trustees are delighted to have helped such a worthwhile community project which provides information to both locals and visitors about the heritage of the local area. We hope the project encourages people to invest time into finding out more about the history of Newton-le-Willows.”
Coun Seve-Gomez Aspron, cabinet member for green, smart and sustainable borough, and also vice chair of the NECG, said: “The heritage trail was a fantastic addition to the town when it was first conceived almost 20 years ago.
“This modern revival shows what can be achieved when community groups and the council work together to secure funding.
“I’d like to commend the hard work of Debbie Fackey and Andy Hargreaves from the NECG who have donated hours of their time to compile the boards for this project, and would encourage residents to go out and enjoy our public open space and learn about our proud heritage.”
Phil Round, chairman of Newton-le-Willows Rotary Club’s community services committee, added: “The Rotary Club of Newton-le-Willows is pleased to support this project which has the potential to benefit our community in many ways through heritage, health and education initiatives.”