Funding is granted for viaduct project

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Funding has been secured to teach people about Bennerley Viaduct, known as the iron giant of the Erewash Valley.

Sustrans charity has received £40,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to deliver the project which will run into summer next year and will provide information and educational materials events on the exciting history of the structure.

The hope is that the project will demonstrate support for the structure, built in 1877, and the range of benefits that could arise from the viaduct opening as a walking and cycling route at some point in the future.

Mathew Easter, Sustrans’ regional director said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Bennerley. It will enable many more people to learn about its important heritage and get involved in looking after it. This award gives an enormous boost to our long term plan to bring the viaduct back into use again as a walking and cycling route high above the Erewash Valley.”

Well known and highly successful cycling coach Sir Dave Brailsford, a supporter of the Bennerley Viaduct project, remarked: “This grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund is an important milestone in eventually opening up the viaduct for walking and cycling.”

Sustrans, along with The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct will be hosting an information stall about the project in Ilkeston Market Place on Saturday December 5 from 10am to 2pm along with a display about Bennerley Viaduct in the adjoining Ilkeston Library.

Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “Bennerley Viaduct is a rare example of our Victorian ancestors’ engineering ingenuity and a treasured local landmark for the Erewash Valley.”