Railway Paths

June 2016 Another Major Boost for Bennerley Viaduct as the Project is awarded £75, 000 by Railway Heritage Trust

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© Railway Paths

Plans to restore and reopen Bennerley Viaduct have received another major boost thanks to a pledge by the Railway Heritage Trust to award £75,000  to the Bennerley Viaduct Project.  

Bennerley Viaduct is a grade II* listed structure dating from 1877. It has a 440 metre span across the Erewash Valley and the viaduct deck is some 18 metres (60 feet) above the River Erewash. The viaduct is a monument to the ingenuity of Victorian railway engineers.

Speaking on behalf of the Railway Heritage Trust, Company Secretary, Malcolm Wood, said “ As one of only two surviving wrought-iron trestle viaducts left in Britain, the Railway Heritage Trust is delighted to be able to support the restoration of this important and impressive monument. This will enable a viable and much-needed use to be developed for this fine structure”.

Railway Paths’ sister charity, Sustrans, is actively working with local councils, partners and communities to re-open the viaduct and connect it with the Erewash Valley Trail and other walking and cycling routes. Commenting on the award, Sustrans England Director, Matt Easter said “We are thrilled and delighted to have received the support of the Railway Heritage Trust. The award gives an enormous boost to our long term plan to bring the viaduct back into use as a cycling and walking route high above the Erewash Valley.”.

The viaduct will eventually be the key focal point of the Great Northern Greenway which aims to provide a traffic free cycling route along the line of the Great Northern Railway between Derby and Nottingham.

Jeff Wynch, chair of the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct described the news of the Railway Heritage Trust grant as a tremendous shot in the arm for the Sustrans projectThe Friends and other volunteers have already done an impressive amount of preparatory work in conjunction with Sustrans. They have been involved in workdays on site, public information sessions, publicity and awareness-raising, as well as helping with the current exhibition at the Erewash Museum. The grant means that important and necessary work beyond the scope of volunteers can also proceed. Not that they need encouragement, but this news has put a new spring in everyone’s step, and might just be what is needed to get even more people on board.”

Sustrans plan to submit a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund later this year with the view to securing further funding to bring this majestic structure back into public use.

If you want to find out more about the project and/or get involved please contact Kieran Lee,  Community Engagement Officer at kieran.lee@sustrans.org.uk  07823 536941.

Related links

For more information about the exhibition at the Erewash Museum…

http://www.railwaypaths.org.uk/may-2016-the-iron-giant-of-the-erewash-valley/

For more information about the Rediscovering Bennerley Viaduct project…

http://www.railwaypaths.org.uk/november-2015-rediscovering-bennerley-viaduct-with-thanks-to-the-heritage-lottery-fund/

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