Chain Bridge plans outlined

Chain Bridge (Union Chain Suspension Bridge) spanning the Tweed, and the border between England and Scotland at Horncliffe
Chain Bridge (Union Chain Suspension Bridge) spanning the Tweed, and the border between England and Scotland at Horncliffe

The team behind the bid for lottery funding to conserve the historic Union Chain Bridge over the River Tweed is appealing to local people to help them ensure success.

Engagement with the public is vital to the success of the £7.3m project as they move towards finalising their second round bid submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in March, which is why members of the public are being invited to two consultation events on Saturday, February 9, to find out more about the funding bid.

Members of the project team and Friends of the Union Chain Bridge will be at Hutton Village Hall from 11am-1pm, then cross the border to Horncliffe Memorial Hall in Northumberland from 2pm-4pm.

Information will be provided on the plans for the project’s main conservation and engineering work, as well as for exhibitions, site interpretation and educational and community events, from members of the project team.

The ambitious project aims to preserve the historic bridge built by Captain Samual Brown in 1820 and currently the oldest operational suspension bridge in the world still carrying vehicles. It is currently in a one-year development phase after an HLF stage 1 bid was approved in March 2018, securing a £360,000 development grant.

The second round bid submission focuses on conserving and raising awareness of the internationally significant bridge and Scottish Borders Council, Northumberland County Council, Friends of the Union Chain Bridge and Museums Northumberland are working together on the scheme.

A spokesperson for the partners said: “We need the public to help us shape this project and therefore would encourage as many people as possible to come along to these consultation events ahead of our Heritage Lottery Funding bid being submitted.

“Our project also aims to raise the profile of nearby attractions, providing learning opportunities for young people and developing meaningful cross-border heritage projects and partnerships.”