Page last updated at 12:27 GMT, Thursday, 28 January 2010

Chatham's historic maritime fort set for a makeover

Fort Amherst
Fort Amherst in Chatham is set for a makeover

One of Kent's most important historic sites is set for a makeover after securing a £50,000 lottery grant.

Fort Amherst, in Chatham, has been given the money by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The money will be spent on improving the network of underground tunnels beneath the fort.

The maritime fort was built during the 1750s to defend the naval dockyard and the River Medway against the threat of a French invasion.

During the Napoleonic era, Chatham Dockyard was seen as a place where French troops could launch a land invasion and quickly descend upon London.

Keith Gulvin, the project supervisor and a trustee of the Amherst Fort Heritage Trust, said: "This grant is an important vote of confidence in Fort Amherst.

"It will enable visitors to see how the tunnels looked and how they would have been used during the period of Chatham's most outstanding international significance."

The improvements, due to be completed by 2012, include installing iron gates, gun carriages and a visitor platform above a well.

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