The plan to convert the deck of the Bennerley Viaduct into a pedestrian and cycle route has received a massive boost from a local council.
On Friday 10 July Broxtowe Borough Council’s Finance and Resources Committee voted to make a contribution of £100,000 to the project. The money comes from unallocated s.106 funds which are received by councils from developers through the planning process.
The specialist firm, Ackroyds, is at present working on the restoration of brickwork and the wrought iron structure. Next will be the construction of an access ramp to the viaduct’s deck from the Erewash Canal towpath. The new money from Broxtowe will go towards phase three, the installation of a new deck allowing people with all levels of mobility to cross the county boundary sixty feet above the Erewash Valley.
Broxtowe Borough Council was an early supporter of the campaign to save the viaduct from demolition when it was under threat after the closure of the line by British Rail more than fifty years ago. Recently it was among the first public bodies to fund the current project with a donation of £20,000. Councillor Greg Marshall, chair of the Finance and Resources Committee, says that the council is keen to see the completion of the link across the valley. “The cycle and pedestrian deck will be a big attraction for locals and visitors alike. It will help to establish the Erewash valley as a new tourist destination in this area of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.”
The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct are partners in the project with viaduct’s owners, Railway Paths Ltd. Chairman Jeff Wynch expressed their delight at the announcement. “We are really grateful to Broxtowe for this contribution to the project. They share our vision that a restored and repurposed viaduct can act as a catalyst for the regeneration of this part of the Erewash Valley.”
Railway Paths have been in discussion with Broxtowe since October 2019 and the decision over allocation of the funds should have been made in December. The process was further interrupted by the lockdown. David Pemberton, RPL’s Director of Operations, welcomed Broxtowe’s decision. “RPL works with local authorities on many of its schemes to bring former railway infrastructure back into use with the shared aim of benefitting local communities. We are delighted that Broxtowe have decided to make such a substantial contribution to a project which will benefit residents of the Borough and visitors from further afield.”