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Friends Of Friargate Bridge Blog

What have we been doing?

Friends of Friar Gate Bridge became formally constituted in May 2015, we registered as a charity in August and we have been welcoming new members since November. The trustees have had meetings with the City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and developers of sites adjoining the Bridge, and we have responded to relevant planning applications. And of course we did the boring stuff like the bank account and the membership database.

We are buzzing with ideas but have found that getting the organisation established has  made us a little more inward-looking than we would have liked in the last few months – but we are keen to get going with the real work of Friends of Friar Gate Bridge. In outline, our plans include:

Attracting lots of new members, to show the City Council and the Heritage Lottery Foundation that people really care about Friar Gate Bridge.  Have you joined us yet?
– Developing practical ideas about the long-term use of the Bridge.
– Educating young and old about the Bridge, the Friar Gate Line and Handyside.
– Raising lots of money, and applying for Heritage Lottery Foundation funding to top it up.

It’s all about ensuring that the Bridge is fully restored and its future is assured.

 

Friends of Friends

The activity surrounding the Bridge needs to be a communal effort, involving both individuals and businesses and we are much encouraged by the response so far. With everything nearly ready for a public launch of the Friends of Friar Gate Bridge as a registered charity, the trustees would like to say a big thank you to those firms who have given their professional time to ensure we are properly set up. The Smith Partnership, (Solicitors) and in particular, their managing partner Fraser Cunningham, spent many hours working on our constitution. The marketing agency DE22 have ensured all looks well on our general marketing materials and have given expert advice on what to produce and when to use it.

The Council and us

Friar Gate Bridge is owned by Derby City Council, and Friends of Friar Gate Bridge are keeping in touch with the Council’s Environment and Conservation officials with responsibility for the Bridge. On Monday 12th October a group of Friends of Friar Gate Bridge trustees met with Council officials to discuss our respective progress and plans. Derby City Council engineers are preparing a detailed schedule of work, with priorities and costings, for the Bridge. The Council officials are aware that we are keen to see a full restoration, and welcome our support in helping to achieve it.

The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Heritage Lottery Foundation. They gave helpful advice about how to approach bidding for HLF funding, and recommended applying for a start-up grant of up to £10,000 to fund work on the options for the Bridge. It’s likely that we will in due course make a funding bid to the HLF in partnership with the City Council.