Chain Bridge project receives £50,000 Fallago grant

The historic Union Chain Bridge linking England and Scotland has secured a £50,000 grant towards its restoration.

Wednesday, 7th November 2018, 08:12 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th November 2018, 08:13 am
Fallago Environment Fund Chairman, Gareth Baird, visits the Union Chain Bridge which links Scotland and England. Pictured l-r are: Cllr Glen Sanderson, Northumberland County Council, Gareth Baird (Fallago Environment Fund), Robert Hunter, Chairman, Friends of the Union Chain Bridge and Cllr Gordon Edgar, Scottish Borders Council.

It is one of seven projects sharing more than £150,000 in the latest round of grant awards from the Fallago Environment Fund .

A joint project to conserve the 198-year-old structure, the oldest vehicular suspension bridge in the world, is being developed by the Friends of the Union Chain Bridge, Woodhorn Charitable Trust, Scottish Borders Council and Northumberland County Council.

The project is currently in a one-year development phase after initial support for National Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) was approved in March.

Robert Hunter, chairman, Friends of the Union Chain Bridge, said; “The Friends of the Union Chain Bridge are incredibly grateful to the Fallago Environment Fund for this very significant grant. It will help enormously to build the momentum behind our fundraising strategy for the restoration of this historic bridge as we head towards its bicentenary.”

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Coun Gordon Edgar, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for Roads and Infrastructure, said: “The Union Chain Bridge project is not just about restoring this internationally significant crossing but delivering exciting and engaging programme of events, activities and learning opportunities.

“We are progressing a second round National Lottery bid and the backing of the Fallago Environment Fund is a huge show of support for our efforts to conserve the bridge.”

Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for Environment and Local Services at Northumberland County Council, said; “This is a very generous donation towards what is an iconic scheme linking England and Scotland.

“There is a great deal of work going on both north and south of the border as we head towards a second round submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund next year and we’re delighted with the support from the Fallago Environment Fund.”

The Fallago Environment Fund shares the benefits of the Fallago Rig Wind Farm in the Lammermuir Hills with projects right across the Borders that enhance the region’s built, natural and cultural environment.

Gala Fairydean Rovers Football Club in Galashiels will receive £40,000 towards the maintenance and repair of the club’s A-listed stand, which dates back to 1964. It was designed by architect Peter Womersley, one of the most renowned architects of his day who was best known for his modernist style.

The Kelso Laddies are set to benefit from a £5,000 grant towards the creation of a memorial to Borders poet Will H Ogilvie, who was famed for his poems about the Borders countryside, while Ancrum and District Heritage Society have been awarded £10,538 towards archaeological investigations of the medieval Mantle Walls site, which is believed by many to be the location of a palace of the Bishops of Glasgow.

Scottish Borders Council’s Whiteadder: The Historic Heart of the Lammermuirs project will receive a £24,566 Fallago Environment Fund grant towards educational activities and resources, while the Hawick Saxhorn Band will now be able to purchase a new horn and cornet, thanks to a grant of £2,750. The Burnfoot Community Futures Community Hub in Hawick will also receive an award of £19,930 towards the creation of an accessible garden that can be used as an outdoor classroom and social space.

Gareth Baird, chairman, Fallago Environment Fund, said; “We’re delighted that the Fallago Environment Fund is able to share the benefits of the windfarm in such a varied and worthwhile manner, often helping to unlock match-funding from additional sources. From an engineering icon that plays a vital role in linking communities on both sides of the Border, to projects that promote accessibility, music, education and an appreciation of the region’s rich architectural, environmental and literary heritage, we are supporting initiatives that we believe will make the Borders an even better place to live, work and visit.”

The Fallago Environment Fund comprises Roxburghe Estates, EDF Energy Renewables and Hermes Investment Management.

Since the Fund was established in 2012, 54 projects in the Borders have benefitted from over £900,000 in funding.

Community, charitable and voluntary groups and other relevant organisations across the Borders and from the parish of Gifford are eligible to apply and grant applications are assessed twice yearly, with application deadlines of 1 September and 1 March.

The Fund is administered by the Tweed Forum and further information on the application process can be found at or by calling the Tweed Forum on 01896 849723.