CITY leaders were given an update on the battle to restore one of Newport's much-loved landmarks.

Cllr David Atwell told cabinet colleagues £1.2 million was needed to make inroads into the project to refurbish the iconic Transporter Bridge but he believed this was achievable.

The council is seeking external funding towards the work and, as part of that, wants to involve the public and local businesses.

Cllr Atwell, cabinet member for highways and transport, held a meeting this week in line with that aim and said he would be making a further statement either later this week or early next week.

He referred to the recent announcement of Assembly funding of £75,000 towards the scheme, adding that he did have other ideas to help find the cash.

Newport Transporter Bridge, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006, was closed in December 2007 because of the unsafe conditions of the high rails that support the gondola.

But it was discovered last year that a more comprehensive refurbishment was needed.

Built primarily to transport workers from the west side of Newport to the industrial area on the east, its use as a transport link declined following the opening of the SDR.

However, it still plays an important role in the city, attracting visitors from across the world, and city leaders have given a commitment to its future.

Voluntary group Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge are determined to see the landmark up and working again.

Chairwoman Anne Gatehouse expressed her disappointment at the £75,000 promised by the Assembly towards the refurbishment project.

"This is a Welsh tourist attraction which is very, very important," she told the Argus. "It is the only one of its type in and it is a heritage structure."