Bridge opening procession for the New Gowan Bridge, Staveley

Cumbria Tourism – the county’s official destination marketing organisation – is welcoming today’s opening of a new bridge to re-connect the Lakeland village of Staveley and welcome back visitors, after it suffered irrepairable damage during Storm Desmond.

The construction of the replacement bridge in Staveley, near Kendal, comes as a massive relief to those tourism businesses which have suffered a downturn in business due to a reduction in traffic and passing trade.

The bridge re-opening has been heralded by the local community with celebrations under the theme of ‘500 ways to cross the bridge’. Today’s procession included residents in fancy dress led by Staveley’s oldest resident, 98-year-old Charles Partridge, who has lived in the village for the past 62 years.

Ian Stephens, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, says, “The opening of this new bridge in Staveley gives local residents and businesses alike a renewed sense of optimism as we go forward into the summer holiday season. I am very proud of the continued resilience and determination of the local community to bring Staveley back to full strength and show visitors everything that this vibrant Lakeland village has to offer.”

Cumbria County Council has invested approximately £500,000 in the Staveley bridge replacement project, which forms part of the county council’s overall £120m infrastructure recovery programme to repair damage caused during the 2015 winter floods. A total of £45 million is being invested in 2016/17 to repair more than 350 roads and bridges, including Gowan Old Bridge in Staveley.

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