South Scotland

Scotland-England bridge work ready to begin

Union Chain Bridge Image copyright Friends of the Union Chain Bridge
Image caption Work will begin next month about 200 years after the bridge opened

Work will begin next month on a £10.5m overhaul of a bridge linking Scotland and England which is about to celebrate the 200th anniversary of its opening.

The Union Chain Bridge stands over the River Tweed and joins Berwickshire and Northumberland.

The Spencer Group has now been appointed to carry out a major programme of repairs to the structure.

The coronavirus pandemic had delayed the process but the company now hopes to start on site in August.

More than £3m was secured towards the project from the National Lottery Heritage Fund last year.

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

Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council have also committed £5.7m.

Other fundraising activities are still being taken forward by the Friends of Union Chain Bridge in support of the scheme.

The structure - the oldest traffic-carrying chain suspension bridge in the world - was opened on 26 July 1820.

Serious concerns about its condition prompted efforts to carry out the overhaul.

It also hopes to help boost tourism along the length of the River Tweed as well as highlight the bridge's historical and engineering importance.

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