South Scotland

Union Chain Bridge overhaul approved by Scottish Borders Council

Union Chain Bridge Image copyright Scottish Borders Council
Image caption The £7.3m overhaul would safeguard the long-term future of the structure

Planning permission has been given in Scotland and England for a £7.3m improvement project on a nearly 200-year-old cross-border bridge.

The Union Chain Bridge scheme was approved by Scottish Borders Council (SBC) on Wednesday.

Northumberland County Council (NCC) gave the green light from their side the following day.

It is now hoped the project can secure further National Lottery Heritage Fund support to allow it to proceed.

Image copyright Friends of the Union Chain Bridge
Image caption The Union Chain Bridge celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2020

The Union Chain Bridge crosses the River Tweed from Fishwick in Berwickshire to Horncliffe in Northumberland.

It was completed in 1820 and is believed to be the oldest operational suspension bridge in the world still carrying vehicles.

Both NCC and SBC have already committed £1m each to its overhaul which is designed to safeguard its long-term future.

Image copyright Friends of the Union Chain Bridge
Image caption The bridge across the River Tweed is nearly 200 years old

A first round national lottery funding bid secured a £360,000 development grant with a second round submission expected to be made in May.

In the meantime, it has received planning permission on both sides of the border.

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