A NEW heritage trail which outlines Newton-le-Willows' rich history has been unveiled.


The Newton-le-Willows Heritage Trail and Health Walk, a six mile circular route was launched with a ribbon cutting ceremony.


Dozens of residents turned out to see the event in Earlestown’s Market Square and took part in the first walk, in the early spring sunshine.


The trail was formally opened by the mayor of St Helens, Cllr Dave Banks and St Helens North MP 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 the town giving details of the area's 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.”


Newton ward councillor, Seve-Gomez Aspron, also vice chair of the NECG, added: “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.


He added: "It was a fantastic day out in great weather. I can only commend the hard work of volunteers from NECG and the turnout shows the public support they deserve. I hope people can attend the Easter Eggspedition in Mesnes Park with the Ranger service coming up soon."


Conor McGinn added: “It was great to attend the Heritage Trail launch at Earlestown Market. The project is a fantastic example of what can be achieved by the dedication and hard work of volunteers in the community, in partnership with supportive organisations like the Rotary, Cory Environmental and St Helens Council. It will showcase our industrial history to visitors and provide accessible and enjoyable walks for local people too.”


More details about the trail can be found on newtonheritagetrail.com. The Easter Eggspedition takes place on Saturday, April 15 from 2pm to 5pm.