The campaign to revive an iconic Erewash valley landmark has moved a step closer after winning council support for the ambitious project.
Plans to restore and reopen Bennerley Viaduct have received a significant boost thanks to a pledge by Broxtowe Borough Council to allocate up to £20,000 towards the project.
Environmental charity Sustrans is working with local councils, community groups and other agencies to re-open the viaduct and connect it to the Erewash Valley Trail and other walking and cycling routes.
Sustrans community engagement officer Kieran Lee said: “We are so fortunate to have such a magnificent example of industrial heritage in our valley. It is a tribute to the ingenuity of Victorian railway engineers.”
“It is an extremely valuable community asset for transport, recreation and education. We are delighted that Broxtowe Borough Council have such a positive vision for its future.”
Sustrans will submit a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund later this year with the view to securing funding to bring the viaduct back into public use, and the council will match any successful bid up to £20,000
Campaigners hope it will eventually be a key focal point of the Great Northern Greenway which aims to provide a traffic free cycling route along the line of the Great Northern Railway between Derby and Nottingham.
Council leader Councillor Richard Jackson said: “The council is delighted to support this project to restore a vital site in our local heritage.
“The restoration will also help community accessibility by providing a vital link to the new Ilkeston Railway Station for our local residents.”