Our exciting plans to restore and re-open Bennerley Viaduct as a walking and cycling trail were seen by Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Chief Executive, Ros Kerslake OBE who was shown around the 140 year-old wrought iron structure recently.
During the visit she met representatives from several local groups and organisations who are actively supporting the project including volunteers and the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct.
“ It was fascinating to see how the project has developed so far and hear how important it is for the local community, and I look forward to seeing the final proposals in due course. ”
Ros was able to see first-hand how the grant has made such an impact with the plans to restore and reopen Bennerley Viaduct.
The grant has paid for resources to engage people in the project and the fascinating heritage of the site including interpretation boards, educational materials, resources for a travelling exhibition, information materials and a community engagement officer.
The Heritage Lottery Fund supports projects which make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities.
We're actively working with local councils, partners and the community to re-open the viaduct and connect it with the Erewash Valley Trail and other walking and cycling routes.
The viaduct will eventually be the key focal point of the Great Northern Greenway helping to complete this traffic free cycling route along the line of the Great Northern Railway between Derby and Nottingham.
After the visit HLF Chief Executive Ros Kerslake OBE said; “This is a truly beautiful site, with such a wealth of natural heritage to see. It was fascinating to see how the project has developed so far and hear how important it is for the local community, and I look forward to seeing the final proposals in due course.”
Commenting on the visit, Kieran Lee, Sustrans Bennerley Viaduct Community Engagement Officer said:
“We’re delighted that Ros Kerslake came to visit Bennerley Viaduct. This project has been embraced by the local community who’ve really taken this project to their hearts.
"There’s real community pride in the industrial heritage of the area and we’re keen to give the viaduct a new lease of life and a new purpose for future generations.
"The site has great biodiversity too and Ros Kerslake was able to photograph some of the rare, magnificent bee orchids flowering beneath the viaduct.”
During the visit Jeff Wynch, Chair of the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct presented Ros Kerslake with a framed black and white image of the viaduct.
Speaking after the visit he said: “The initial grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund has really boosted this project.
"There is overwhelming community support for the proposal to bring Bennerley Viaduct back into use as a walking and cycling trail.
"By the day, this project gathers momentum. It is a project that will make such a positive difference.”
If you want to find out more about the project please contact Bill Tomson, Network Development Officer, Railway Paths Limited at [email protected], or 077960 436 2953.