Image demonstrating Historic bridge scheme nets grant funding

Historic bridge scheme nets grant funding

The historic Union Chain Bridge linking England and Scotland is among seven Scottish Borders projects set to share over £150,000 in the latest round of grant awards from the Fallago Environment Fund.

The Fund shares the benefits of the Fallago Rig Wind Farm in the Lammermuir Hills with projects right across the Borders that enhance the region’s built, natural and cultural environment.

The 198 year-old Union Chain Bridge is the oldest vehicular suspension bridge in the world and is set to receive £50,000 from the Fallago Environment Fund towards its restoration.

A joint project to conserve the internationally significant engineering icon is being developed by the Friends of the Union Chain Bridge, Museums Northumberland, Scottish Borders Council and Northumberland County Council in order to safeguard its future. The project is currently in a one-year development phase after initial support for National Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) was approved in March 2018.

Gareth Baird, Chairman, Fallago Environment Fund, said; “We’re delighted that the Fallago Environment Fund is able to share the benefits of the windfarm in such a varied and worthwhile manner, often helping to unlock match-funding from additional sources.

“From an engineering icon that plays a vital role in linking communities on both sides of the Border, to projects that promote accessibility, music, education and an appreciation of the region’s rich architectural, environmental and literary heritage, we are supporting initiatives that we believe will make the Borders an even better place to live, work and visit.”

Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services at, Northumberland County Council, said; “This is a very generous donation towards what is an iconic scheme linking England and Scotland.

“There is a great deal of work going on both north and south of the border as we head towards a second round submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund next year and we’re delighted with the support from the Fallago Environment Fund.”

Robert Hunter, Chairman, Friends of the Union Chain Bridge, said; “The Friends of the Union Chain Bridge are incredibly grateful to the Fallago Environment Fund for this very significant grant.  It will help enormously to build the momentum behind our fundraising strategy for the restoration of this historic bridge as we head towards its bicentenary.”

Councillor Gordon Edgar, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Roads and Infrastructure, said: “The Union Chain Bridge project is not just about restoring this internationally significant crossing but delivering exciting and engaging programme of events, activities and learning opportunities.

“We are progressing a second round National Lottery bid and the backing of the Fallago Environment Fund is a huge show of support for our efforts to conserve the bridge.”

Photo courtesy of Paul Dodds.
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