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Friends Of Friargate Bridge Blog

12 June 2017 Trustees’ meeting

Here are some key points from the FFGB trustees’ meeting on 12 June 2017:

  • Our Scoping Project bid will very soon be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund, thanks to splendid work by Malcolm Holden in preparing briefs, obtaining quotations and drafting the bid.  If the funding is granted it will pay for a professional viability study on potential economic uses of the Bridge, and a governance review to help ensure that FFGB is resilient enough to complete the restoration.
  • We are documenting our processes and project risks to ensure that we organise ourselves effectively and anticipate potential problems.
  • We are very happy to welcome four new volunteers, thanks to Mike Wingfield’s publicity for FFGB in Rolls-Royce and on Nextdoor.

Derby’s heritage under threat as five historic buildings put on at-risk register

An article in the Derby Evening Telegraph on 14th May 2017 states that Friargate Bridge has been put on the Derby Historic Building Trust’s “at-risk” register.

Read the article here:

Derby’s heritage under threat as five historic buildings put on at-risk register

In response to the article one of the Trustees said:

Friends of Friar Gate Bridge is continuing to work hard behind the scenes towards the restoration of the Bridge.  With the support of Derby City Council (the owner of the Bridge) we are preparing a bid for Heritage Lottery Scoping Project Funding as a next step towards determining a viable long-term use for the Bridge and its abutments.  The aim is to restore the Bridge so that it becomes an asset to the area once again, and provide it with an income stream to fund its upkeep so that it will not fall into disrepair again… 

Please consider joining Friends of Friar Gate Bridge to show your support for this lovely landmark.


Trustees’ update

  • Friends of Friar Gate Bridge (FFGB) continues to work towards submitting a bit to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project scoping grant, and have started to receive quotations for work that could be carried out under the grant.
  • The trustees have recently undertaken a review of how we manage ourselves as an organisation.  Although active volunteers are currently few, we need to operate effectively and make sensible plans to grow our resources.  The review will help us to use our scoping project to get into a position where we can demonstrate to the HLF and other funders that we are resilient enough to see the project through.
  • We are continuing to have discussions with other heritage-related organisations that might help us financially or with advice.


The FFGB trustees and key volunteers had a productive meeting on Monday 3rd April. Our main focus remains to prepare a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a Resilient Heritage Scoping Project grant. We hope that this will provide funding for viability studies into potential uses of the bridge, and also some funding to help us establish ourselves as a more robust organisation. At today’s meeting we:

  • reported on very helpful meetings with Derby City Council and the Derbyshire Historical Buildings Trust.
  • made preparations for an honest review of the things we do well and not so well as an organisation.
  • discussed the actions needed to generate the inputs to our HLF Scoping Project bid, especially getting to the point where we can get quotations for the professional work we hope to pay for with the grant

2016 Annual General Meeting

The first Annual General Meeting of Friends of Friar Gate Bridge will take place at 7pm on Monday 7th November 2016 at the 102 Club, 72 Friar Gate, Derby DE1 1FN.

The AGM is an ideal opportunity for all those interested in the future of the Bridge to hear the Trustees’ report on progress so far, and there will be opportunities for comments and questions from the floor.  The agenda and other information will be published in due course.

Of course only members can vote, so join up if you haven’t already. As well as giving you a voice, your membership will boost the funds and show the City Council and funding bodies that you care about Friar Gate Bridge.


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.