Moray SNP News
Moray’s MSP, Richard Lochhead, recently held a meeting with local group Friends of Craigellachie Bridge and Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of Historic Environment Scotland (HES). The meeting gave the local group the opportunity to update HES on their plans and to see what the national body can do to assist them.
The Friends of Craigellachie Bridge formed in 2015 to celebrate the Craigellachie Bridge’s bi-centenary. The group became a Scottish Registered Charity in April 2016 with the charitable objectives of promoting and stimulating the general knowledge of the Craigellachie Bridge and its surrounding area, along with providing information about the history, culture and heritage of the Bridge.
The Craigellachie Bridge is the oldest cast iron bridge in Scotland and is one of only a few engineering projects in Scotland that has been 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 the famous engineer Thomas Telford between 1812 and 1814.
Richard Lochhead MSP 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, Secretary of Friends of Craigellachie Bridge, 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.”