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Iron Bridge conservation work wins prestigious international award

By Deborah Hardiman | Ironbridge | Attractions | Published:

Work carried out to Telford's iconic Iron Bridge to the tune of £3.6 million has won a prestigious conservation award.

The Iron Bridge

The European Heritage Awards/Europa Nostra Awards recognise exemplary achievements in the field. The public is also been given a chance to vote for the attraction.

English Heritage historic properties director Elizabeth Page said: “We are absolutely delighted that our conservation work on [the] Iron Bridge has been recognised by such an illustrious organisation.

"We know how much love there is out there for the bridge so we are asking as many people as possible to vote for it in the Public Choice Award.”

The renovation, completed last spring, saw tourists flocking back to the attraction which was given a change of colour, along with repairs to cracks and stresses in the historic cast ironwork.

The independent panel stated: “This iconic heritage, cared for throughout its lifetime, is a part of a larger whole, relating to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and the surrounding industrial landscape.

2020 Winners announced: European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards

"Its conservation approach is based on full respect of the original technology and was made possible through international collaboration and funding. It is a very good example of conservation in action, providing access to visitors and locals during the work.”

People can also vote online for the attraction in the public choice competition at vote.europanostra.org

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When it was finished in 1779, the Iron Bridge was the first single-span arch bridge in the world to be made of cast iron and was a turning point in British engineering.

The Iron Bridge

Yr Ysgwrn, Trawsfynydd, in Snowdonia, was also a conservation project winner in the awards, which were made to mark Europe Day celebrated on May 9.

The European Heritage Awards/Europa Nostra Awards were launched by the European Commission in 2002.

The winners are selected by independent juries composed of EU heritage experts.

The renovation of the Iron Bridge was backed by Historic England, The Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, Telford & Wrekin Council, The Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site Steering Group, The Environment Agency and Severn Gorge Countryside Trust and donors included Germany's Hermann Reemtsma Foundation.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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