Further grants to save historic Great Yarmouth bridge

CAMPAIGNERS battling to save Great Yarmouth’s historic Vauxhall Bridge have been heartened by two further substantial grants that bring the first phase of the project into sight.

Asda has agreed a �30,000 contribution, while the Railway Heritage Trust is donating �50,000.

It was announced earlier this year that the project had been awarded �295,000 by the Big Lottery Fair Share panel.

Miriam Kikis, who has been leading the campaign to restore the bridge alongside her Seafood Restaurant on North Quay, said: “The latest grants take us to �390,000 in total and I am very optimistic we will raise the extra money still needed to start the work.”

She said that as much as �500,000 would be needed to tackle the first phase of the project to restore the eastern span of the grade two listed bridge.

“We hope to be in a position to start at the end of the summer but the exact time will be subject to agreement with the Broads Authority,” she said.

The project, being led by Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, will involve restoring the metalwork and replacing the decks of the bridge, which was opened in 1852 and modified in 1886 to take railway locomotives.

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Mrs Kikis said: “During the work the footpath and cycleway will remain open; when it is done the footpath will be re-routed on to the eastern side.”

The approaches to the bridge – an important link between Asda and the station to the town centre – would also be spruced up.

She said she was confident the momentum gained from the first phase would allow them to find the funding to complete the job, which would cost about the same sum.

Vauxhall Bridge is the only surviving major bridge in the country to have been strengthened in the 19th century by complete alteration in its structural form.

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