The world’s most complete surviving transporter bridge is set to become a major tourist attraction thanks to an £8.75m National Lottery grant.
“This investment, the third largest we have ever made in Wales, will help sustain jobs, support economic growth, drive tourism and create a sense of pride in Newport’s unique heritage.”Andrew White, Director of The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales
Newport Transporter Bridge in South Wales is one of only eight remaining transporter bridges in the world. Opened in 1906, the aerial ferry transported workers from the west of Newport across the River Usk without disturbing traffic into the town’s busy port.
The funding will allow Newport City Council to repair and preserve the structure of the bridge. Major repairs will be carried out on the east side approach viaduct, gondola, cross beams and anchorage housing. Lost architectural features will be restored, and the entire bridge will be repainted and treated to prevent corrosion.
Once the restoration work is complete, visitors will be able to follow in the footsteps of the workers who built the bridge by climbing to the top of the walkway, 55 metres above the water.
From there, they will be able to take in glorious views over South Wales. Visitors will also be able to marvel at the incredible Edwardian structure as they take a ride on the gondola.
A hub for visitors
The grant will also fund a new visitor centre, where people can learn about the history and heritage of the bridge and its environment.
Linked to the bridge via a walkway, the centre will have a shop, café, toilets and changing facilities and improved car parking. There will also be a community space with an extensive activities programme.
An iconic boost to Newport
Cllr Jane Mudd, leader of Newport City Council, said:
“The transporter bridge is an icon of Newport, and a significant part of the story of Wales’ industrial past – one that we need to preserve for future generations so that we can tell the stories of our shared history. I’m therefore delighted we have been able to secure this funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund which will allow us to do exactly that.
“The development of a new visitor centre has the potential to create both job and volunteering opportunities, and enhance the city’s reputation as a visitor destination, both of which will bring wider economic benefits to Newport.”
Investing in heritage in Wales
Andrew White, Director of The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales said:
“Thanks to National Lottery players, Newport Transporter Bridge – one of the most important historic landmarks in Wales – has been safeguarded for future generations.
“This investment, the third largest we have ever made in Wales, will help sustain jobs, support economic growth, drive tourism and create a sense of pride in Newport’s unique heritage.
“We are proud of the investment we have made in Wales – more than £410 million over the past 26 years. After a year of providing emergency support to Welsh heritage organisations hit by COVID-19, we will shortly be reopening applications for National Lottery project grants and look forward to funding many more important heritage attractions across Wales.”