Lydney Sea Cadets welcome home the historic swing bridge
Lydney Sea Cadets have joined forces with the Lydney Coastal Community Team to mark the return of the Lydney Harbour swing bridge. The bridge was hoisted out of position in May last year and taken off site for a complete overhaul.
The Coastal Team was established in 2015 and refurbishing Lydney Harbour’s historic swing bridge has been their first project. The bridge is classified as a Listed Building and provides an important crossing point over the canal towards the Severn Estuary.
The Coastal Team secured £50,000 Coastal Revival Fund grant from the Government’s Department of Communities & Local Government to enable the refurbishment works to go ahead. Rotting laminated timbers have been replaced with structural steelwork that will significantly extend the life of this important local asset. Care has also been taken to install a non-slip timber deck to improve pedestrian safety in bad weather.
Last year, local engineering company Mabey Bridge Limited won the contract to undertake the bridge repairs. Chief Executive Officer, Michael Treacy said: “Lydney’s swing bridge has been standing for nearly 100 years, but its age was starting to tell. While our team installs and services bridges all over the world, this project was of special importance to our Lydney-based workforce who couldn’t wait to get their hands on the bridge and bring it back to its former glory. We’re delighted that the landmark is now fully operational and will be enjoyed by many generations to come.”
A spokesperson for the Forest of Dean District Council said: “As a next step, the Lydney Coastal Team is working to secure funding to dredge the canal up towards the station and install new moorings to encourage more boats to use this stretch of water. It will be wonderful to see more people sailing in from the River Severn to visit Lydney by boat. Our enthusiastic Team members have plenty of ideas about improving lines of sight to the water to open up the canal for more people to enjoy.”
A spokesperson for Lydney Town Council added: “As has been said, this is the first of a series of projects within the overall plan for the harbour area, and is a good example of how to achieve positive outcomes by working effectively with a range of strategic partners.
“Particular thanks must go to Mabey Bridge for their commitment to the rebuild - the bridge says it all, and will do for many years to come.”
Coastal Revival Fund - In December 2015 the government announced that Lydney has been awarded a maximum grant of £50,000 to support access improvements at Lydney Docks and Harbour. At that time, the District Council submitted a grant application on behalf of the recently formed Lydney Coastal Community Team. The team was among 77 award winners nationally.
The £3m Revival Fund (now closed) was made available by the government to kick-start the rejuvenation of at-risk heritage sites that have the potential to create opportunities for new businesses and jobs.
Lydney’s Coastal Community Team is seeking to increase the tourism and recreation potential of Lydney docks and harbour whilst retaining and safeguarding its historic character and structure. The harbour is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade 2 Listed Building currently identified by Heritage England within their Heritage at Risk Register.
Improving pedestrian and cycle access from the harbour area to the railway station and town centre shops and services are key priorities for the new partnership team. There is also a strong desire locally to attract investment to build a café, toilets and specific features to support increased boat use. Improving the overall visitor experience, dwell time and spending in this area are all target outcomes whether people arrive by road, rail, cycle, boat or on foot.
Mabey Bridge is a leading international provider of high-quality bridging and infrastructure solutions. It specialises in rapid-build, pre-engineered modular bridging to develop, improve and repair essential infrastructure in urban and rural areas. It also delivers permanent and temporary bridging solutions for military, transport, oil and gas, and mining applications, as well as for humanitarian emergencies and disaster relief. Based in Lydney, Gloucestershire, UK, Mabey Bridge is renowned for its innovation in engineering and its state-of-the-art design technology, which is underpinned by a heritage of more than 160 years of British engineering expertise. It has supplied modular bridging solutions to over 140 countries worldwide, to customers such as National Governments, NGOs, global energy and mining corporations. Website: www.mabeybridge.com