PLANS to build a shared use path along a disused railway line are back on the cards, after campaigners received a £9,000 cash boost.

A-B Connecting Communities, set up to resurrect the project more than five years after it was put on hold, is launching a new bid to build a path through the Wye Valley from Chepstow to Tintern, known as the Wander Path project.

Last week, the campaign group received a £9,000 grant from Chepstow Town Council, as well as £1,000 from Mike Lewis, of Greenman Backpackers.

Funding totalling £20,500 has now been secured by the group, which it says is the amount required to submit revised planning applications to Monmouthshire County Council and Forest of Dean District Council for the route from the Severn Bridge to Tintern.

A meeting to 'resurrect' the project will take place later this month, with a planning application expected to be submitted within the next six months.

The shared use path for cyclists, walkers, runners and others would link to the Severn Bridge via the Wales Coastal Path and include a new footbridge across the River Wye.

Campaigners say the new 'Wander Wye Route' would benefit millions of people in the long term and raise Chepstow's status to a "true gateway to Wales."

The proposal closely mirrors plans which were submitted by sustainable transport charity Sustrans in 2010 and is broken down into four phases, costing several million pounds.

The path includes a new footbridge, estimated to cost £4.2million, and follows the disused 19th century Wye Valley railway line.

Jennifer Goslin, co-ordinator at A-B Connecting Communities, said the plans would bring huge benefits.

She said: "This would create a route for people of all capabilities to use to access the Wye Valley.

"It would mean families would be able to cycle to Tintern and enjoy the fantastic scenery and children would be able to cycle to school easily."

Ms Goslin said the path would also help mitigate the high levels of air pollution in Chepstow, while providing business opportunities.

A petition in support of the cycle path has gathered 5,600 signatures and was recently supported by Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Geraint Thomas, who has backed the campaign on Twitter and Facebook.

Mark Hand, head of planning at Monmouthshire County Council said: “We are in discussions with Chepstow Chamber of Commerce as well as tourism bodies and Jennifer Goslin who created the petition.

"A meeting is being arranged to resurrect the project.

"We understand that Chepstow Town Council has agreed funding to carry out studies on the scheme.

"The original scheme ceased when Sustrans withdrew its planning application at the Tintern stretch of the proposed route."