Bridge restoration will be a gateway to tourism


Iwan Berry

A HOTELIER has welcomed £340,000 plans to renovate an important footbridge in Llangollen.
Seamus O’Keefe, owner of the Chainbridge Hotel located next to the bridge, commended the decision made by Llangollen Town Council and Llantysilio Community Council to renovate and reinstate the neighbouring chain bridge.
The hotel owner said the bridge frequently attracted the interest of visitors and any improvement to it would help boost tourism to Llangollen.
Mr O’Keefe said: “I think that, in the long term, it will be of great benefit to Llangollen.
“It’s been closed for a long time and historically the bridge has looked more and more sorry. 
“A large number of visitors that come to the hotel ask questions about the bridge, and express hopes for its restoration.”
He added that the bridge had historically linked the Llangollen canal and its railway, both of which were popular attractions.
“People are constantly using the canal towpath and crossing the bridge and visiting the steam train – they’ve been increasingly prevalent.
“The bridge is a very important part of that. It will benefit people coming, and we will experience an increase in business due to the development.”
When asked whether the £340,000 development would be value for money for the town, he said: “The submissions that have been made to the Heritage Lottery Fund have been very thorough.
“It’s become increasingly popular for people seeking funding, and they have a very strict process in place.
“They will have made sure there will be a return on their investment – and in terms of footfall as well.”
Cllr Jon Haddy, a member of the town council, said: “The aim is to open up the route around the area.
“The bridge shouldn’t just look good – it will do something too.”

See full story in the Free Press

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