As you may have read in the Argus a couple of weeks ago, Newport City Council recently announced we have secured an £8.75m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help secure the future of one of the city’s most iconic landmarks - the Newport Transporter Bridge.

The funding will help pay for both major restoration works to the bridge and gondola, as well as a new visitor centre which we hope will help turn the Bridge into a major tourist destination within both the city and the wider Gwent region.

The new centre, which will be linked to the bridge via a walkway, will allow us to bring the history of the bridge to life through showcasing the personal stories of those who designed, built and use the bridge.

Facilities at the centre will include a café, toilets and changing facilities, shop, exhibition gallery and community space.

There will also be more car parking spaces for visitors and an exciting activities programme including theatrical performances, art classes and mindfulness sessions.

The Transporter Bridge is an icon of Newport, and a significant part of the story of Wales’ industrial past, one that we need to preserve for future generations so that we can tell the stories of our shared history.

The restoration of the bridge is also important from a regeneration perspective. The development of a new visitor centre has the potential to create both job and volunteering opportunities, and enhance the city’s reputation as a visitor destination, both of which will bring wider economic benefits to Newport.

Both of these reasons show just how important it was to secure this grant, and I’d like to pay tribute to the hard work of our officers who worked on the bid for their efforts in securing this funding.

The council recognises the impact that this transformation could have on the city, and has therefore also committed £1m of capital funding to the project, a move which helped us to secure the NLHF grant. We are also currently exploring a number of other funding opportunities to complement both our investment and the grant.

I’d also like to pay tribute to the volunteers at the Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge, who have spared countless hours helping to promote the bridge as an icon of Newport and south Wales.

The Transporter Bridge is our bridge. It belongs to all of us, the citizens of Newport. It stands as a testament to our industrial past, and will hopefully now remain standing for generations to come as a beacon of the regenerative power of our city.