Jubilee Bridge revamped at last

Jubilee Bridge, Matlock Bath
Jubilee Bridge, Matlock Bath

COUNCIL chiefs have set aside £120,000 to restore a local landmark to its former glory.

During a meeting, members of Derbyshire Dales District Council’s recommendation to spend the large sum on repainting the historic Jubilee Bridge in Matlock Bath.

The move comes following a public outcry earlier in the year to have the work done in time for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Residents of Matlock Bath raised their concerns about the bridge’s ugly state when members of the parish council conducted a survey of the community to find out what they wanted to see in their parish plan.

The public spoke out and said repainting the tired landmark was important.

Julie Baranek, clerk to Matlock Bath Parish Council, said members had been asking the district council to repaint the bridge for a number of years, and though the district council had promised year after year to do so, it had never happened.

The Jubilee Bridge was the first bridge to be built over the River Derwent in Matlock Bath, and prior to its existence visitors to the attraction had to use a ferry to cross the river.

Patriotic members of the community saved up for the bridge, in order to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

It was finally opened to the public in 1887.

In spring, the district council stated that a lot of work was needed to bring the bridge up to scratch and it would be unable to carry it out this year.

A spokesman for the authority has now said: “Complete refurbishment of the Jubilee Bridge is work we have been wanting to include in our capital programme for some time, but other commitments, not least the building of Arc Leisure Matlock, mean it is only now possible to move forward.

“Our aim is to restore this important bridge to the way it looked when it was opened to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 – and that includes researching the original colour scheme.

“The work will go out to tender in the New Year, with the refurbishment taking place between March and the end of August. The re–opening will be scheduled to tie in with the launch of our 2013 Matlock Bath Illuminations.”