Plans for the multi-million pound redevelopment of Stratford-upon-Avon's historic river waterfront will be thrown open to the public in a major consultation exercise.

Two public meetings are tabled to enable local people and organisations to have their say about an application for funding from the National Lottery.

Advantage West Midlands, the regional development agency, has already allocated £5 million and Stratford District Council hopes a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund will be successful.

The area earmarked for regeneration includes Ban-croft Gardens, the Avon itself and the recreation ground across the river from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Work on radically improving the waterfront is intended to run in tandem with the £100 million redevelopment of the RST, which is due to start next summer.

The two initiatives form part of the council's World Class Stratford project, which seeks to boost the town's potential for tourism and provide better facilities for residents.

Val Harris, Stratford District Council's project development officer, said: "It is essential that the residents of Stratford are given the chance to get involved at this stage of the funding bid and are given the opportunity to not only make suggestions for the features that they wish to add but also to state which features are dear to them and therefore must be included in the ultimate design. The aim is to bring the waterfront up to the world class standards expected of a town with Stratford's reputation. This will include dramatically upgrading the entire image of the area so it is a delight to all who visit it." She added: "This is an exciting project that requires much care and attention to ensure that the character of the 'Bancroft' is maintained whilst its quality and ambience is improved and not diminished."

The public meetings are between 6-8pm on August 17, and 2-4pm on August 18. Both meetings are at Stratford Town Hall.