Iron Bridge to be seen in a whole new light
Shropshire's famous Iron Bridge could soon be seen in a whole new light as plans are put in place to enhance illuminations at the site.
Telford & Wrekin Council is calling on contractors to come forward to design a new and upgraded lighting system for the world famous bridge.
The bridge is already lit up at night and has been illuminated with coloured lights on special occasions such as the World Heritage Festival.
Now plans are afoot to enhance the permanent lighting.
Experts estimate the value of the contract will be between £10,000 and £25,000.
The closing date for applicants to come forward is March 9, with the contract expected to last from March 26 to November 23.
Councillor Nicola Lowery, ward member for the Ironbridge Gorge, said that the new lights would help enhance events and improve the visitor economy, especially in the winter months.
“The lighting scheme is something that we have been working on for some time and stakeholders have also asked English Heritage to explore enhancing the permanent lighting scheme to ensure that the monument’s intricate structure is appropriately lit," she said.
"They also asked that we look in more detail at the possibility of improved pedestrian lighting.
"The new scheme will ensure that the lighting enhances the bridge’s structure and provides an opportunity to use additional colours to compliment local events and support our local businesses and visitor economy, especially during the winter months.
"When we have previously lit the bridge the additional colours have been really positively received by visitors and the local community as we celebrate the history and significance of this revolutionary structure.
"I am delighted that after much input from stakeholders and partners that we are now at a stage to see what tenders come forward. This is a very unique opportunity to get involved in enhancing one of our most well known and symbolic monuments that continues to attract international status and renown."
The new lights will be installed following the ongoing renovation work on the Iron Bridge.
English Heritage currently has the landmark covered in a plastic coating to protect it from the elements while it grit blasts away corrosion and the previous layer of paint.
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 the Hermann Reemtsma Foundation in Germany .