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21 August 2009

Newcastle High Level Bridge wins major EU conservation award

Mott MacDonald and project partners May Gurney and Network Rail are celebrating another win for the refurbishment of Newcastle’s historic High Level Bridge after the project received a major European conservation award this month.

The £40 million restoration project was awarded the Grand Prize for Conservation from Europa Nostra, an EU body that recognises and rewards major conservation projects around the world.

The award is the seventh and most prestigious accolade that the bridge has won since reopening in 2008. The Europa Nostra judging panel described the project as “an enormously impressive level of engineering professionalism, from original research into the fatigue performance of cast-iron, down to the restoration of the original lamp standards.”

Members of Mott MacDonald’s project team joined representatives from Network Rail, who own the bridge, officials from Europa Nostra, First Group, local councils and contractors for a celebration to mark the latest award.

Plaques to mark the Europa Nostra and heritage awards were unveiled at the centre of the bridge before the Railway Heritage Trust (RHT) was presented with a cheque for €10,000 - the award money from the Europa award.

John Chappell, director of civil engineering at Network Rail commented, "This job was a very tough challenge and it's very gratifying to see the hard work of our own people and our contractors recognised so widely."

Mott MacDonald’s Project Director, Tony Wilkins added, “The High Level Bridge is a landmark structure right in the heart of Newcastle. Before it closed for refurbishment it carried over 8000 vehicles a day, so the project has been of immense public interest. To see it so beautifully restored and operational again was a reward in itself, but winning such an important conservation award is just fantastic.”


Notes to editors

Additional information

The awards won by the bridge project are:

- Two Historic Bridge and Infrastructure awards from the Institution of Civil Engineers; one for research into Cast Iron and one was for the Physical works.

- National Railway Heritage award.

- North East of England branch of Institution of Civil Engineers “Special Conservation” award.

- National Rail Award - Civil Engineering Achievement of the year.

- Grand Prize for Conservation from Europa Nostra.

- Network Rail Partnership award for Heritage.

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