Friends shout out for world famous Craigellachie Bridge

SUPPORT FOR PLANS to raise the profile of one of Moray’s most iconic structures took a step forward recently when the Chief Executive of Historic Environment Scotland (HES) visited the Craigellachie Bridge.

Alex Paterson met with local MSP Richard Lochhead and the Friends of Craigellachie group, formed in 2015 and which became a charity the following year with the objective of promoting and stimulating knowledge about the bridge.

The Craigellachie Bridge is the oldest cast iron bridge in Scotland and is one of only a few engineering projects recognised as a landmark of importance by both the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Civil Engineers. The bridge was built by Thomas Telford between 1812 and 1814.

Following the meeting Mr Lochhead said: “I was delighted to be able to invite Alex Paterson to come and meet with the Friends of Craigellachie Bridge.

“The group have exciting plans for the bridge and are extremely passionate about the restoration project. This iconic bridge is a masterpiece of engineering and design therefore it’s important that the group’s vision of restoration is supported.

“It’s important that all groups and agencies now work closely together to ensure that funding can be sought and this iconic structure can be restored. Therefore, I have written to Moray Council seeking responses to a number of questions and I hope they will be able to do what they can to assist the group.

“I will also be seeking an update from Alex Paterson to see what more HES can do in providing support and assistance to the group. Craigellachie Bridge is a hugely important tourist attraction for Speyside and Moray with a massive amount of potential. I will be doing everything I can to ensure the Friends of Craigellachie Bridge get the support, advice and answers they need to push ahead with this extremely important project.”

Brenda Cooper is Secretary of Friends of Craigellachie Bridge. She said: “It was great to be able to meet with Richard Lochhead and Alex Paterson to discuss our plans for restoring the bridge.

“We are a group of local people who are passionate not only about the bridge and its importance to Speyside and the wider Moray area, but we are also very aware of the importance of the bridge to Scotland’s heritage.

“There’s quite a bit of money needed to be spent on its restoration and were are very keen to work together with organisations such as the Council and Historic Environment Scotland to get the funding to make this happen.

“It’s such an iconic structure with a great history and is a very respected bridge within engineering circles and I really hope that we are able to get things moving now and attract the funding needed to preserve such a wonderful bridge that is known round the world.”