Councillors back Bennerley Viaduct group with grant

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Plans to bring Bennerley Viaduct back into use as a walking and cycling trail have been given a funding boost by Erewash councillors.

Borough Councillors James Dawson, Glenice Birkin and Danny Treacy have each donated £200 from their discretionary community grant funds to the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct group.

Coun Dawson said: “The Friends are a vital part of preserving what is both a historic landmark and part of our railway heritage.

“The project to re-open the viaduct as a cycle and walkway will greatly benefit the lives of local people and help revitalise the area.”

The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct are a volunteer group of Erewash residents who have been assisting transport charity Sustrans in building support for the project.

Over the last two years, members have organised promotional events, advised on designs for the trail and carried out initial clean-up works on the viaduct.

Friends spokesman James Teader said: “This generous donation gives the campaign to reopen the viaduct a real boost. We will be using this funding to assist with the workday volunteer programme which enables local people to get actively involved with the project.”

Sustrans spokesman Kieran Lee added: “This support is hugely appreciated. The donation will allow vital work to take place and provide opportunities for people to make a difference in their community.

“They are rightly proud of their industrial heritage. This viaduct is of national importance. Bringing it back into use will celebrate that heritage and it will contribute to the regeneration of the area.”

A proposal will be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund later this year seeking support for restoration work on the structure, and for plans to connect it with existing walking and cycling networks.

For more details, see www.bennerleyviaduct.org.uk.