County councillors on Berwick Old Bridge

Iconic Berwick bridge to be refurbished

Berwick’s historic Old Bridge is to undergo a £800,000 restoration and refurbishment as part of a range of improvement schemes to roads, bridges and paths in the area.

The investment is part of this year’s £18.6m Local Transport Plan (LTP), which will see a raft of repair, restoration and maintenance projects benefiting pedestrians, cyclists and drivers in all parts of the county.

The work on Berwick Old Bridge will build on the £250,000 funding on it over the past year. Work will start this summer and involve waterproofing and repairs to the masonry parapets. Engineers are currently preparing the design ready for approval by Historic England, whose consent is necessary as the bridge is a listed Grade 1 structure and of historic importance.

The iconic 15-arch structure was built between 1611 and 1634 by James Burrell out of red sandstone. The bridge was almost complete in 1621, but severe flooding caused damage which put back its completion by several years.

Other schemes in the town to benefit include £110,000 resurfacing at Billendean, £80,000 of repairs to North Road and £40,000 for pavements at Ivinson and Greenwood.

Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, said: “Once again we will be delivering an ambitious and wide range of improvement projects throughout the county over the next year.

“The projects range from new walking and cycling schemes to major road and bridge improvement initiatives.”

“From Riding Mill to Blyth, and Cornhill to Cramlington, these schemes are designed to improve not just our roads network but also the safety for our residents right across the County.

“The LTP funding, added to the recent government funding for rural roads and bridge repairs means we’ll be spending over £30m on our roads over the next 12 months.”

The three Northumberland County Councillors covering these Berwick area; Councillors Georgina Hill, Gregah Roughead and Catherine Seymour added: “We’re delighted at the range of improvements earmarked for Berwick and the surrounding area by the county council.

“The Old Bridge is an iconic structure for the town and this scheme will ensure it’s protected for future generations, while the LTP funding also covers a wide range of projects which will benefit our communities.

“It’s very satisfying that the town is getting the investment it deserves in the LTP and across a number of areas .”

Northumberland County Council has also earmarked an additional £15 million over the next two years for further rural road and path schemes, the details of which will be announced shortly.
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