Conservation architects Spence & Dower LLP have been appointed to oversee the £7.3m project to restore the Union Chain Bridge over the River Tweed.
The project was granted round one development funding of £360,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund; in the second round a final decision will be made on the full funding award of £3.1m.
Scottish Borders Council, Northumberland County Council, The Friends of the Union Chain Bridge and Museums & Archives Northumberland, are working together on the scheme, which is due for completion in spring 2020.
Spence & Dower LLP, chartered architects and historic building consultants, based in Ponteland, handle the conservation of a number of historic structures, from coke works to country houses and war memorials to watermills and are currently working on a large-scale project at Belsay Hall for English Heritage and development work for various listed farmsteads on sensitive archaeological sites around Northumberland.
Spence & Dower’s previous historic bridge projects have included Prebends’ Bridge, Durham (1778) and Chantry Bridge, Morpeth (1869).
Built by Captain Samuel Brown in 1820, the Union Chain Bridge is currently the oldest operational suspension bridge in the world, still carrying vehicles and through securing National Lottery support, the project will deliver cultural, heritage, educational and community benefits as well as the upgraded structural work ensuring a further 120 years of use.