Council leads bid to secure funds for Newport Transporter Bridge
NEWPORT council is bidding for £8 million Heritage Lottery funding to secure the future of the city’s Transporter Bridge.
The council hopes to fund a long-term programme of improvements, maintenance and repairs required to keep it in pristine operational condition.
The friends of Newport Transporter Bridge are backing the council’s plans and have been involved in discussions on how the project can progress.
The funding is needed to carry out essential on-going repairs to the bridge, improve the gondola which dates back to 1906, and to create a bigger and better visitor centre which will include improved visitor facilities at the site.
Newport Transporter Bridge is one of only five remaining operational transporter bridges worldwide.
Significant maintenance and repairs to the bridge have taken place over the years, the last being replacement traveller rails and repainting carried out in 2010.
A report on the Heritage Lottery Fund bid says if the Transporter Bridge is to thrive as a visitor attraction investment is also required in interpretation and visitor facilities.
Should the Heritage Lottery Fund bid be successful, approval for the council’s funding contribution will formally be progressed. There will also be the opportunity for residents to get involved and help raise funds for the works. This type of community connection and engagement is important for funding bids which attract third sector support.
Councillor Debbie Harvey, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport said the Heritage Lottery bid was the first step in securing the future of Newport Transporter Bridge.
“We have agreed to apply for this funding to help us improve the visitor experience around the Transporter Bridge and are hoping to involve the local community in helping us secure funds so the bridge will be here for future generations to enjoy.
“We have this iconic structure on our doorstep and many of us take it for granted but we need to get on with this programme of regeneration and expansion.
“We have had talks with the Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge who are keen to back us in our bid.”
The bridge attracts more than 20,000 visitors a year and is open this year from March 29 until October 1.