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From | Wednesday 22 July 2020

Firm to carry out essential works to preserve 200-year-old bridge linking England and Scotland.

The Union Chain Bridge.

Hull engineering specialist Spencer Group will next month begin work to refurbish one of the world’s oldest suspension bridges.

The firm will carry out a programme of essential works to preserve the 200-year-old Union Chain Bridge linking England and Scotland.

With a single span of 449ft (137m), the historic crossing over the River Tweed from Horncliffe in Northumberland to Fishwick in Berwickshire was the longest wrought iron suspension bridge in the world when it opened in 1820.

Spencer Group has been appointed by Northumberland County Council to dismantle the bridge and carry out a complete refurbishment and rebuild to mark its bicentenary.

Managing director Gary Thornton said: “We’re delighted and honoured to have been selected to carry out such an important project. It’s both a pleasure and a privilege to have been given the responsibility to preserve this precious structure for future generations.

Spencer Group will also remodel the English and Scottish approach roads to incorporate parking for visitors to the bridge, which is accessible to both vehicles and pedestrians and is a popular tourist attraction.

The Union Chain Bridge remains the world’s oldest suspension bridge still carrying traffic and is both a Grade I listed building in England and a Grade A listed building in Scotland.

It is credited with being a catalyst for bridge innovation, influencing the design of other famous structures such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge.