A £65,000 scheme to renovate the historic footbridge at Kew Gardens Station has been given the go-ahead by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The project, masterminded by the Kew Society, is to receive £42,700 of lottery cash, it was announced this week. The bridge is a listed building and will receive a general refurbishment and safety improvements.

Richmond upon Thames Council is contributing £19,250 of funding and will manage the repairs, while Kew residents have donated a further £1,500 and the Kew Society has added another £1,500 from its reserves.

Improvements, due to start later this year, will include new handrails, repairs to the concrete steps and bridge deck, resurfacing, painting and anti-graffiti treatment. A security mirror and new lanterns will also be provided.

Christine Reay, chairwoman of the Kew Society, said: "We are working harmoniously with the council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage and we hope this project will be the first of many such community-led joint enterprises."

Community-led moves are also afoot to improve the area around Kew Gardens Station further. "This is the gateway to Kew for thousands of visitors each year," Mrs Reay added. "Improvements are imperative because of the international importance of the National Archives and because the Royal Botanic Gardens have achieved World Heritage Status."

The footbridge, erected in 1868, is said to be a pioneering example of its sort of ferro-concrete construction. It is protected by a Grade 2 listing. The bridge is notable for its high sides and flutes over the tracks, both apparently designed to protect pedestrians from the dirt of 19th century steam engines.