An exhibition has set out to end fears of a ‘gunpowder plot’ at a much-loved heritage attraction.

As the Waltham Abbey Royal Gunpowder Mills Charitable Foundation (RGMCF) showcased plans for the attraction yesterday (October 6), protestors claimed proposals could threaten jobs, valuable artefacts and public access.

Plans from company PGL include creating a new outdoor activity centre for children with guest accommodation, providing spaces for 850 children and room for around 100 staff and teachers.

A new light railway, water activity lake, zip-wires, climbing walls and target range are included in the plans, which have faced persistent opposition.

A sign at the RGMCF exhibition said: “Some comments on social media and the web are factually incorrect and hence here we present the facts.”

It added: “Every effort will be made to ensure that the visitor attraction will continue, but it will have to change, evolve and ultimately be able to sustain itself financially.”

The charitable foundation claimed the development would create 200 full- and part-time jobs and maintain volunteer posts.

However, Roy Porter of the Save the Royal Gunpowder Mills campaign said many are concerned that activities such as historical re-enactments would be cancelled and artefacts taken off display.

He said: “Whilst we are sympathetic to the aims of PGL – anywhere else it would be a great idea – to have it on this site, to lose the history and heritage of the local area, would be a great shame.

“The volunteers will be put out, all their hard work over this time will be gone for nothing.”

With a planning application set to be made this month he also criticised RGMCF for a perceived “lack of consultation”, with alternative options not fully considered.

Protests outside the exhibition united people from parties such as UKIP and the Greens.

Green activist Dave Plummer said the attraction and Waltham Abbey had “a lot more to lose than gain from the proposed deal”.

“Large parts of the site will be out of bounds to the public and there will be little economic benefit to Waltham Abbey as visitors will spend their money on site.

“The size of the proposed staff accommodation block undermines claims of boosts to local employment.

He added: “We don't feel that all viable options have been considered.

“Let's go back to the drawing board before an important local, cultural asset is lost.”

If all permissions are granted, the new attraction could open in spring 2017.

A PGL spokesman did not comment on the opposition, simply saying the company was pleased to meet stakeholders and present plans for the site’s future.

The RGMCF have been contacted for comment.