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Published 30th May 2011

Transporter Bridge

Today, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced confirmed funding of £2.6m for the Grade II listed Transporter Bridge, one of only a handful of its kind in the world. The Bridge links Middlesbrough and Port Clarence and is a spectacular landmark on the River Tees

Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said:

“Middlesbrough’s Transporter Bridge is an iconic structure for Middlesbrough and also stands as an important reminder of the town’s long steel and engineering heritage. The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to be able to support the Council’s ambitious restoration plans that will give visitors a far better experience and help everyone learn about its fascinating history.”

Kevin McCloud, author, broadcaster and designer, said:

“The Transporter Bridge, sitting bang in the middle of Middlesbrough, is an extraordinary example of engineering, something long associated with this part of the world. The bridge also demonstrates the very British enthusiasm for practical problem-solving. This is why it’s great news that the Heritage Lottery Fund has invested £2.6m into the future of the bridge, enabling the local community and visitors to get involved with this special landmark in new and exciting ways.”

HLF’s grant will enable essential improvements to be undertaken, including installing new lifts and restoring the gondola and existing walkways. A range of educational activities will also be on offer such as trips to the Teesside Archives where people will have the chance to learn more about the bridge’s extensive history and workshops for local schools. Volunteers will be given opportunities to lead guided tours, arrange talks and help with important maintenance work.

Councillor Nicky Walker, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Transport, said:

“The Transporter Bridge is a hugely important part of both Middlesbrough’s past and of its future, so this is fantastic news for the town and the region as a whole.The Transporter is an engineering icon and a landmark held dear by millions, and I’m delighted that that status has been given such tangible recognition. This is already a year of celebration with the centenary in October, and the modern improvements made possible by this grant will ensure the Transporter can continue both as a working bridge and as a major tourist attraction for many more decades to come.”

Councillor Mike Smith, Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, said:

“This funding will enable a whole new era for the Transporter Bridge, so it’s tremendous news in its centenary year. As a flagship for the region, it does more than simply link the communities of Billingham and The Clarences with Middlesbrough. This award will help bring the Transporter to the attention of many more people, who will enjoy a visit to this historic bridge.”

Project benefits

The project will benefit visitors by not only enjoying the panoramic view but also gaining a greater understanding of the history of the Bridge and the surrounding industrial heartland. These include:

  • The installation of glass viewing lifts, giving visitors stunning views across the Tees Valley and a bird’s eye view of the former industrial heart of the region.
  • Improvements to the walkway across the top to increase public access.
  • Motor replacement to improve reliability, enhanced signage and improved lighting.
  • Restoration work to the gondola, provision of a viewing area to the motor room, visitor centre upgrade.
  • A 7-month programme of celebration events to raise awareness of the Bridge and the area’s heritage with a major celebration on its 100th anniversary.

In recent years the Transporter has become a centre for extreme sports with regular events involving 1,500 visitors in bungee jumping, zip lining and abseiling from the structure.

Get the book - The Transporter - in celebration of the centenary

Priced £15, The Transporter – which has been printed on carbon-balanced paper by local firm HPM - is on sale now. All profits from the book will be reinvested back into the future of the Transporter Bridge.

Retail outlets

Venue Phone number
Waterstones Middlesbrough  01642 242682
Guisborough Book Store  01287 610179
MFC Club Shop  
Transporter Bridge Visitor Centre  01642 247563
Middlesbrough Council Libraries  01642 729002
mima  01642 726720
Dorman Musem  01642 813781
Captain Cook Birthplace Museum  01642 311211
Middlesbrough Tourist Information Centre  01642 729700
Teesside Archives  01642 248321
Stockton Library Service  01642 526522
Stockton Tourist Information Centre  01642 526473
Preston Hall Museum  01642 527375
Redcar and Cleveland Tourist Information Centre  01642 774774
ArtsBank  01642 625300

Please note websites are included for location purposes and do not indicate online sales except in the case of where they are now available.

Useful links

Transporter Bridge

Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge on wikipedia

Heritage Lottery Fund

Photo credit: Transporter Bridge by  Yaffa Phillips

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