Forth Ports is to fully repair the Category A listed Victoria Swing Bridge in Leith.

This will, they say, conserve the bridge for the future and also create a useable space for the local community.

The company is a private entity, and the six figure investment for the repair will be paid for from their capital budget with no involvement by The City of Edinburgh Council, other than the listed building consent which the council has been asked to grant. When that consent is given the work will begin with some work to be left until next year. Pedestrian access will be retained all the way through any works.

The work will be carried out in phases and will include:

  • The full refurbishment of the northern and southern walkways
  • Re-decking the central carriage way
  • Replacement of the decked turning circle areas
  • A full repair and repaint of metalwork on the bridge

Charles Hammond, Group Chief Executive at Forth Ports, said: “The Victoria Swing Bridge is a well kent sight in Leith and it is an important and rare surviving example of our heritage. The plans we have submitted to the Council have been well thought through and will ensure that the repairs are appropriate for the conservation of this important landmark.

“We want to also create a useable space for the local community and we hope that once the bridge has been restored, people will be able to enjoy this historic space.”

The Victoria Swing Bridge was designed by Alexander Rendel and opened in 1874 to provide an efficient road and railway route for the port following the completion of construction of Albert Dock in 1869. The bridge was originally B listed but was upgraded to an A listing in 2014. It is constructed of riveted wrought iron, timber and steel and originally carried a double rail track along its central deck (providing access for both trains and road vehicles) and features pedestrian walkways on either side.

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