Grant enables town to get heritage trail

PUBLISHED: 11:43 10 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:47 31 May 2010

Architect John Ready with two mock-ups he made of the proposed heritage trail

Architect John Ready with two mock-ups he made of the proposed heritage trail

HISTORIC buildings and sights in Saffron Walden will feature on a new heritage trail to be introduced next year. The Saffron Walden Initiative, a group formed in 1999 to improve Saffron Walden for residents and visitors, has successfully applied for funds

HISTORIC buildings and sights in Saffron Walden will feature on a new heritage trail to be introduced next year.

The Saffron Walden Initiative, a group formed in 1999 to improve Saffron Walden for residents and visitors, has successfully applied for funds to create the trail from the Local Heritage Initiative.

Peter Riding, Saffron Walden Initiative chairman, said: "This is a good example of where a community group can apply for funding that is not available to the local authorities.

"We are delighted we have received the full funding that we applied for to deliver this exciting project."

The Local Heritage Initiative has offered more than £21,000 towards the heritage trail project, which will be spent on four key elements.

They include a free leaflet with map; numbered posts set into the pavement that mark the route; a booklet of high-quality photographs to accompany the trail that will be available to buy; and large signs displaying maps of Saffron Walden in each of the town's car parks.

One of the main supporters of the project is Sarah Saward, Uttlesford District Council's market towns project officer.

She said: "The biggest strength of the group behind this project is the diversity of people involved, and the impressive breadth of knowledge that they possess.

"It is great to have such a keen and diverse group of people working on this project.

"They bring a wealth of information about the town and the challenge is condensing all their ideas into one piece of work."

Representatives from organisations including the Blue Badge Guides, Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre, the museum and library, Saffron Walden Town Council, Essex Highways, Local Area Access Group and the Fry Art Gallery have all contributed, as well as photographers, illustrators, architects and historians.

The group behind the heritage trail has already carried out test walks and identified a possible route, along which nine posts will point out significant sights.

Mr Riding said: "The circular trail will begin in the Market Square, head up Market Hill, onto Museum Street, then Castle Street, past the Fry Art Gallery, Bridge End Gardens, the youth hostel at Myddylton Place, the church and back again.

"It's a leisurely stroll really, probably around a mile long."

The £21,000 awarded to the project must be spent by December next year, but the working group is hoping that the trail will be in place by as soon as June.

The nine posts along the route will each feature an illustration of the point of interest nearby. They will serve as an advertisement for the trail, as well as markers for people following the trail.

The colour photographic booklet, priced at less than £5, will expand on the trail and give people a more thorough overview of the town.

It will be available from the library and the tourist information centre.

The Heritage Trail working group intends to carry out another test walk in the New Year.

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