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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Public views sought on Chain Bridge facelift plan

MEMBERS of the public are being asked for their views on a planned £300,000 facelift of Llangollen’s historic Chain Bridge.
The bridge, which spans the River Dee at Berwyn was closed due to safety fears a number of years ago and has since fallen into a derelict state.

* The famous Chain Bridge over the River Dee.
But the structure was recently bought jointly by Llangollen and Llantisylio councils who plan to give it a new lease of life.
They are planning to apply for development grant aid from the Heritage Lottery Fund to pay for the bridge to be restored and reopened for public use.
Estimated cost of the facelift operation is £300,000.
It involves not just the bridge, but also the surrounding approaches which are of concern for those using Berwyn station  - run by Llangollen heritage railway - and people seeking safe passage across the river.
The railway is being given a big say in the direction of the project as its visitors continue to express their concern about its condition.
Berwyn station master Ben Jackson and railway press officer George Jones recently met with Lorna Jennings, the officer in charge of the development, to discuss the renovation scheme.
Mr Jones said: “Lorna is the author of several books about Welsh heritage and has been responsible for the tramway information board displayed on the canal towpath near Llangollen Motor Museum at Pentrefelin.
“She has a whole range of ideas about encouraging involvement in the project and for providing various types of interpretive information about the bridge and the surrounding area which is of importance to Llangollen Railway passengers using Berwyn station as a stopping-off point.
“To comply with Lottery rules for funding the application has to show educational, historical, interpretive interests and community involvement and Lorna has already done a lot of work in the local area to generate this support.
“She requires further input from those with an interest in the Chain Bridge and will welcome all comments in support of the funding application.”
A questionnaire has been prepared to record public interest in the project and is available from:
Mr Jones added: “Replies will help to establish interest in the project which is of national concern and not just local convenience.” 
An exhibition about the Chain Bridge is now on display in the function room at the nearby Chain Bridge Hotel.
Attendance at this exhibition will also be an indication of support and the questionnaire is available there for completion.  Copies should also be available from Berwyn station.

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