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A new name for a new park

Date: 31/12/2008           Category: Greenspaces

Medway’s Great Lines open space is to be named the Great Lines Heritage Park. The name was chosen after being put to vote at a meeting of more than 140 members of the Chatham World Heritage Partnership. The meeting was held to celebrate the success of a £2million application to the government’s Parklands fund. Cllr Rodney Chambers, Leader of Medway Council, said: “I am pleased that Great Lines will be called the Great Lines Heritage Park. “This area of Medway has played a significant part in our history and forms a major part of Chatham’s World Heritage Site application. “The Great Lines Heritage Park is a fitting name for this area, which will become a great, revitalised open space for Medway. “Medway Council and the government’s Communities and Local Government department’s decision to invest in the future of the Great Lines reflects the outstanding significance of Chatham's world heritage and the major role it will play in Medway's regeneration.” The £2million funding, which was announced in November, will go towards providing two and a half miles of new and improved path and cycleways, access to Fort Amherst and a bridge across the Chatham Lines. This will join Fort Amherst and the Great Lines by traversing the immense defensive ditch which once helped protect Chatham Dockyard from a land attack. The plans for the new Great Lines Heritage Park are the result of much hard work throughout the summer from the Chatham World Heritage partners choosing priorities for the park and proposing projects. Lindsey Morgan, the chair of the Chatham World Heritage Partnership, said: "The partnership aims to restore the park and we believe the name Great Lines Heritage Park reflects the importance this green space will play in people’s daily lives". Plans for the Great Lines Heritage Park can be viewed on line at www.chathamworldheritage.co.uk. Notes to Editors: 1) Chatham Dockyard and its Defences have been on the UK government’s shortlist of potential World Heritage Sites since 1999. An application is being developed by the Chatham World Heritage steering group. For more information visit www.chathamworldheritage.co.uk. 2) The Chatham Lines are a series of deep bastioned ditches and ramparts which joined Fort Amherst in protecting Chatham Dockyard from landward attack. The Great Lines is the historic name for the associated open “Field of Fire” which offered an approaching enemy no shelter. 3) The first phase of the park will open in autumn 2009. Mid Kent College is investing £1.35m in the restoration of 5.5ha of land as a public park next to their new campus at the Lower Lines. Medway Park – the 2012-inspired renovation of the Black Lion Leisure Centre and outdoor facilities – will form the sporting and activities zone of the Great Lines Heritage Park, and will be open from 2010. 4) The Chatham World Heritage Partnership welcomes anyone with any nature of interest in the site, and is free to join. The Partnership meets two-three times a year, in various historic locations within the proposed World Heritage Site. Partners receive regular updates by email or post. There are over 500 partners, with over 130 regularly attending meetings. 5) ASDA generously supported the 10th December meeting, where the name was chosen, with a £1,500 contribution to mark the refurbishment of their store in Chatham.