WORK to improve access to a historic Gornal landmark looks set to be completed this week.

A new car park, including two disabled parking bays and an access ramp, will open next to the mill on Vale Street this week in a bid to protect the future of the site by encouraging visitors to the Gornal landmark.

The work follows a three-and-a-half month programme which has also seen Vale Street widened to provide a new footpath for pedestrians to walk safely without having to step into the road.

Welcoming the news, councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environmental, highways and street services, said: "This work has been important for two reasons.

"Firstly, the lack of a path along part of Vale Street has long been a significant safety concern for the community which we have now addressed.

"Secondly, the new car park makes it easier to access Ruiton Windmill and increases its potential as a visitor attraction, which will help to preserve it for future generations."

The grade II listed landmark dates back to the early 19th century and was built from traditional Gornal stone.