The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced confirmed funding of £2.6m for the Grade II listed Transporter Bridge, one of only a handful of its kind in the world. The Bridge links Middlesbrough and Port Clarence and is a spectacular landmark on the River Tees.
The project will help visitors enjoy the panoramic view and a greater understanding of the history of the bridge and the surrounding industrial heartland. The plans include:
- The installation of glass viewing lifts, giving visitors stunning views across the Tees Valley and a bird's eye view of the former industrial heart of the region.
- Improvements to the walkway across the top to increase public access
- Motor replacement to improve reliability, enhanced signage and improved lighting
- Restoration work to the gondola, provision of a viewing area to the motor room, visitor centre upgrade
- A seven-month programme of celebration events to raise awareness of the bridge and the area's heritage with a major celebration on its 100th anniversary
In recent years the Transporter has become a centre for extreme sports with regular events involving 1,500 visitors in bungee jumping, zip lining and abseiling from the structure.
Original proposals included:
Lifts and walkway
Installation of glass viewing lifts allowing visitors to experience trips to the top of the bridge. Improvements to the walkway at the top of the bridge and the installation of a web cam/camera system. Emphasis will be on enhanced accessibility for disabled users.
Upgrade work to the gondola restoring the viewing points along the river back to how they were in 1911. It is proposed that the changes to the gondola will be a very modern interpretation on the open feel of the original design.
Motor room viewing area
Alterations to the existing motor room and Winding house to create an extension which will allow safe viewing of the bridge motor operation.