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Iron Bridge appeal ends with £47,500

By Mat Growcott | Ironbridge | News | Published:

More than £47,500 has been raised to support vital conservation works on the historic Iron Bridge.

The Iron Bridge wrapped up

English Heritage's first ever crowdfunding campaign finished on Sunday – and organisers said the response had been "truly overwhelming."

The charity launched the fundraising effort on November 13, the first day of work on the Iron Bridge.

By midnight on Sunday 911 people had responded to the call, helping to raise more than £47,545 to support the project. The funds have provided a much-needed boost to the charity’s conservation project to save the Iron Bridge.

Morgan Cowles, head of conservation maintenance at English Heritage said: "We are in awe of all those who have given so generously to support our vital conservation project on the Iron Bridge.

"This is English Heritage’s first ever crowd funding campaign, and all the money raised goes directly to the project, which is why we are so grateful to everyone who has stepped up to help. The conservation works are already making great progress, and now we can see the project through knowing we have another 911 people with us every step of the way.

"I can only offer my sincere thanks on behalf of English Heritage to everyone who has made this possible.”

The Iron Bridge has spanned the River Severn in Shropshire since 1779, but English Heritage’s extensive surveys and investigations have shown that it is under threat from cracking due to stresses in the ironwork dating from the original construction, ground movement over the centuries, and an earthquake at the end of the 19th century.

The £3.6m conservation project to save the bridge – English Heritage’s largest conservation project since becoming a charity – has also been supported by a one million euro donation from German funder the Hermann Reemtsma Foundation.

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The Project Iron Bridge crowd-funding campaign reached its initial target of £25,000 in less than 48 hours, raising £40,000 towards the target in a little over a week.

In total, the campaign received donations from nearly 911 supporters pledging £47,545 to support the project. As well as helping with English Heritage’s vital conservation project to save the iron bridge, donors could choose to join special "conservation-in-action" tours of the Iron Bridge or get their hands on a limited edition print of the Iron Bridge by renowned designer Paul Catherall.

Money collected from the extended campaign will go towards helping to paint the 378 ton bridge.

The finishing touches will include hand-painting of each letter of the inscription that stretches along the Iron Bridge’s span over the river. The inscription links the bridge with the town of Coalbrookdale, where the metal was cast.

The paint used across the bridge will match the original colour and will be sensitive to the historic iron.

English Heritage said that the work would protect the bridge from damage caused by wind and rain for decades to come.

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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