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More than £20,000 raised on first day of Iron Bridge crowdfunding appeal

By Lucy Todman | Ironbridge | News | Published:

An online crowdfunding campaign to help save Shropshire’s historic Iron Bridge has raised more than half its total in just one day.

Morgan Cowles, head of conservation and maintenance for English Heritage, at the Iron Bridge

English Heritage needs to raise £25,000 to ensure that the charity can complete conservation work on the industrial icon.

The project is costing £3.6m and the charity has already been helped by a €1m donation from the German Hermann Reemtsma Foundation.

The charity is hoping to raise the last £25,000 it needs via online donations and launched a crowdfunding campaign yesterday.

Scaffolding has gone up for work to begin at the iconic Iron Bridge

More than 400 donors have already helped to raise over £20,500 towards the cause. One person alone has donated £2,500.

Today a statement on the crowdfunding page said: "We're amazed at your support yesterday for Project Iron Bridge. To raise £20,000 and counting from over 400 of you is an incredible achievement of the crowd.

"We never dreamed that we would get so close to our goal in just 24 hours! Thank you so much for your generosity and encouragement.

"Please continue to spread the word, we're so close to our total!

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Thank you for helping to make Project Iron Bridge Happen."

Rewards are being offered for pledges.

They include special "conservation-in-action" tours of the Iron Bridge and a limited edition print of the Iron Bridge by renowned designer Paul Catherall. For as little as £5, people will get an exclusive thank you film. For a pledge of £2,500, donors will receive a private tour for them and five guests. They will also become a founding English Heritage guardian.

Morgan Cowles, head of conservation and maintenance for English Heritage, said it was an “exciting” project and the largest conservation scheme since English Heritage became an independent charity in 2015.

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Scaffolding has gone up around the bridge and experts have started work.

Erected in 1779 over the River Severn in Shropshire, 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.

However English Heritage’s extensive surveys and investigations have shown that the Iron Bridge is under threat from cracking.

With an enormous scaffold in place around the bridge, English Heritage will now start to clean and conserve, repair and – where necessary – reinforce the different elements of the bridge.

Work has begun on iron radials and braces holding Shropshire’s Iron Bridge together, as well as its deck plates, wedges and main iron arch itself.

The bridge will also be repainted to protect it for the future.

To donate to Project Iron Bridge, visit crowdfunder.co.uk/project-iron-bridge/

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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