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Thu November 30 2023

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Funding secured for historic bridge refurbishment

24 Sep 19 Northumberland County Council is advertising for a main contractor to refurbish the oldest operational suspension bridge in the world.

Union Chain Bridge was built over the Tweed by Captain Samuel Brown in 1820
Union Chain Bridge was built over the Tweed by Captain Samuel Brown in 1820

The Union Chain Bridge spans the River Tweed near Paxton. It has provided a transport link between Scotland and England for 200 years. It is now to get secured funding for a much-needed refurbishment.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has granted the project £3.14m; Northumberland County Council and neighbouring Scottish Borders Council have also committed £3.4m.

Work is now expected to start early next year, once a contractor is in place.

The procurement documents are available at:

Robert Hunter, chair of the Friends of the Union Chain Bridge, said: “We are all thrilled that The National Lottery Heritage Fund has made such a substantial grant to save this much loved and iconic piece of our engineering history.

“When it was completed in 1820, the Union Chain Bridge was the world’s longest suspension bridge and it provided the catalyst for huge innovation in bridge design.

“I was reminded of this at our recent ceremony to mark the bicentenary of the laying of the foundation stone, when we received congratulatory messages from a number of bridges around the world. These included the Clifton and Menai bridges in the UK and the Akashi Bridge in Japan, which is the current holder of the world’s longest suspension bridge.”

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