Light fantastic for Iron Bridge thanks to £70,000 grants
The iconic Iron Bridge is set to get year-round illumination thanks to a £40,000 grant to mark Telford's 50th anniversary celebrations and £30,000 from Arts Council England.
The world famous bridge is set to get a new lighting scheme that will see it fully illuminated all year round – as well as featuring the latest in lighting effects and colour projections to light the bridge on special national and local events.
The project is funded by a £40,000 grant from Telford & Wrekin Council's £2 million Telford 50 Legacy Fund.
The council has also secured a further £30,000 from the Arts Council England as part of the destinations Cultural Destinations project to attract more international and national visitors.
The permanent bridge lighting scheme follows a trial in 2015, when the Iron Bridge was illuminated as one of the world's outstanding cultural landmarks during the Night of Heritage Light.
The new system would be permanent and allow the bridge's east and west sides also to be lit together, with additional lighting downstream. The lighting scheme will have the ability to use different colours, levels of lighting and special effects for different events.
Work to install the lighting system is expected to start in the summer and be completed before the end of the year when repair work on the bridge by English Heritage will also finish.
Councillor Rae Evans, cabinet member for tourism, said: "This is something that people in the Gorge have been asking for a long time and it will be great to see it finally come about.
"We want a lighting scheme that will really enhance the Iron Bridge, its status as one of the UK's top heritage attractions and that will really help to showcase to the world what we have here in the borough.
"It will also bring this in line with many other World Heritage Sites which are lit up at night and it is only thanks to the Telford 50 Legacy Fund and the Arts Council England for their support of the scheme that we are able to do this.
"This will leave a lasting reminder of Telford's 50th anniversary that benefits the borough and I am sure attract more visitors here helping to support many tourism jobs and businesses for many years to come."
Peter Knott, area director for Arts Council England, added: "The lighting up of the bridge will be a glowing reminder to the people of Telford of their rich heritage, it is something everyone can take pride in.
"The iconic landmark is a great example of what can happen when industry meets creativity and ambition, and we are pleased that it will now be seen and enjoyed by both locals and visitors all year round.
"The permanent lighting installation will provide a rich array of opportunities for artists, designers and community groups to join up and animate and celebrate the waterways of the Midlands."
The council is currently procuring a lighting designer to install the lighting system and work on this is expected to start in the summer.