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£1million boost will make fort ‘mecca for history buffs’
6:00am Thursday 19th December 2013 in News
THE iconic Coalhouse Fort, in East Tilbury, will get a £1million boost.
The historic 19th century building will get a new cafe, revamped toilet and information block, plus an improved base for the park’s rangers.
Access will be improved, fencing, paving, and minor works will be done to one of the gun towers and an education officer will be employed to take parties on four tours.
Lynn Worrall, Thurrock councillor responsible for communities, said: “This money will turn Coalhouse from a fascinating, but little known, jewel in Thurrock’s crown, to a Mecca for history buffs across the world.”
The move comes after Thurrock Council secured a £790,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
This will be added to the £110,000 being offered by the Veolia North Thames Trust, along with further funds being stumped up by the council.
The fort was built between 1861 and 1874 – at a cost of about £130,000 – to defend the Thames from a potentital invasion by France.
It was closed following the abolition of coastal defences in 1956, but today its beautiful grounds are ideal for strolling.
In 2005, the fort was used as a Bhutenese prison in Hollywood hit, Batman Begins.
Councillor Cathy Kent, the council’s representative on the Coalhouse Fort Project, added: “This is tremendous news for the fort, the local community and Thurrock.”
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