NEW YEAR UPDATE – JANUARY 2015
Here is a re-cap for anyone who has recently joined the Group or anyone who is interested in the Union Chain Bridge.
Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council aim to restore the bridge in time for its bicentenary in 2020. NCC has put aside £500,000 for the restoration. Scottish Borders Council will discuss its contribution at a meeting on 12th February 2015.
Consultants appointed by NCC will make an initial approach to the Heritage Lottery Fund. They are Carol and Frank Robinson from Consult Robinson. Please see www.consultrobinson.co.uk for more information. Some of the Trustees met them on 17th December.
The UCB Friends Group currently has 295 members – including a descendant of Captain Sir Samuel Brown – which is a great demonstration of support for the restoration of the bridge. The Group aims to become a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) in the New Year.
Aside from this, the Friends have made a visit to the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge to learn how its restoration was carried out. Here follows a report from Ted Cawthorn: -
“On the 28th November Trustees John Home Robertson and Edward Cawthorn, together with James Fell the County Council’s Heritage Officer and Frank Robinson the Heritage Lottery Fund Bid Consultant appointed by NCC visited the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge, where they were briefed by the Middlesbrough Council Team responsible for the Council’s successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid towards the restoration and refurbishment of the 100 year old iconic structure and winding machinery and its development as a heritage feature. The Transporter Bridge, which dominates the Middlesbrough skyline, was opened on the 17th October 1911 and is the longest transporter bridge in the world, with a total length of 259 metres and a maximum height from the river of 69 metres.
The Middlesbrough Council Officers gave an interesting, detailed and cautionary account of their experiences with their bid and the processes involved in establishing the principle of eligibility for HLF assistance, and were happy to be associated with the Union Bridge bid and to maintain a continuing relationship with the Friends”.
Trustees John Home Robertson and Stephen Gallico have recently been to two meetings, firstly with an official at the Scotland Office to discuss the possible involvement of the Westminster and Edinburgh Governments with the project, and secondly with representatives of a major construction contractor who have offered to help in various ways.
Chairman, Friends of the Union Chain Bridge