Future of bridge is in your hands

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AMBITIous plans for a new £6 million Gainsborough footbridge are to be discussed at a public meeting next month after the body supporting it disbanded.

The adventurous and futuristic design is for a bridge to cross the River Trent opposite the old Guildhall, connecting to the Beckingham Marshes.

The design is for a suspended S-shape bridge, reminscent of the Wembley stadium design.

Oliver Houchell will present his bridge design, which was commissioned by Gainsborough Stakeholder Network and supported by West Lindsey District Council and Gainsborough Development Trust.

There will be an opportunity to view the design, ask questions of Oliver, discuss the proposal and determine a future course of action.

This is particularly relevant as the GSN, which previously championed the project, has now been wound up and is therefore no longer in a position to do so.

Former GSN member Charles Cooke from the Lincolnshire CDA said he is still supporting the project, but it was important for local residents, councils and businesses to show their support to keep things going.

“The Gainsborough Stakeholder Network was a membership organisation that had people from sectors of the town and it got together a number of years ago,” said Charles.

“It extended its role into a cross-section consultation body and the council used it as a focus of community engagement, and one of the community projects that we were a vehicle for was the new footbridge.”

“When the development funding ran out, there weren’t the resources to provide it with a secretarial function and the directors decided that it was time to call is a day.”

Charles continued: “I have continued to represent the footbridge project, and now there a need for people who support the idea to find other ways of showing their support and to keep it on the agenda.”

“The next stage is to find funding for it, which would have been beyond the mean of the GSN anyway, but now lies in the hands of local authorities and for property developers who will reap the benefits.”

“Hopefully the real potential of the bridge will inspire them.”

He added: “We will now be asking people what they think the next course of action should be.

The meeting is to be held at 6.30pm on Thursday 3rd February at the YASIG premises at Toll House, Bridge Road, Gainsborough.