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 as part of a match funding arrangement. Sustrans, an environmental charity is actively working with local councils, partners and communities to re-open the viaduct and connect it with the Erewash Valley Trail and other walking and cycling routes.
Bennerley Viaduct is a grade II* listed structure dating from 1877. It has a 440 metre span across the Erewash Valley and the viaduct deck is some 18 metres (60 feet) above the River Erewash.
The viaduct will eventually be the 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.
Kieran Lee, Heritage Lottery funded Community Engagement Officer with Sustrans 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 the future of Bennerley Viaduct”
Leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, 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 improve accessibility to the local community by providing a vital link to the new Ilkeston Railway Station for our local residents.”
Sustrans plan to submit a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund later this year with the view to securing funding to bring this majestic structure back into public use.