Historic bridge reopens 


Bolton Council will be holding a community fun day on Saturday 10 July in Queens Park to mark the reopening of historic Dobson Bridge.

The Victorian bridge was built in 1878, 12 years after Queens Park opened, to improve pedestrian links from the park to the town centre.

In recent years, Dobson Bridge has been closed owing to structural problems, but has undergone a £500,000 refurbishment funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Area Based Grant.

The bridge, which is made of cast iron, wrought iron and stone, has been restored in a sympathetic manner using traditional methods by specialist firm Dorothea Restoration.

The bridge will be officially re-opened at 12.30pm on Saturday 10 July by the Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, accompanied by the Mayor and the Mayoress of Bolton.

To celebrate the re-opening of the newly refurbished Dobson Bridge, there will be a World-Cup-themed community fun day in the park between noon and 4pm. Activities will include an oversized human table football game, penalty shoot out competitions and five-a-side games, as well as a display of freestyle soccer skills. Other activities will include a funfair, bungee trampolines, face painting, circus skills workshops, arts and crafts workshops and live music.

Councillor Sufrana Bashir-Ismail, Executive Member for Cleaner, Greener, Safer, said: “Dobson Bridge is an essential part of Queens Park and an important link between the park and the town centre. This restoration has reinstated a vital link route to public access and restored a valuable piece of heritage to its original splendour. This will be the first of many improvements to the park which will restore it to its former glory and also introduce new facilities for the 21st century.”

John Harding, Chair of the Friends of Queen Park, said: “We have campaigned for a long time to see Dobson Bridge restored and we are delighted that it has finally happened."

The restoration of the bridge is the first stage of the stunning transformation of Queens Park, made possible by a £4.3m award from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund (BIG).

This investment in Queens Park will fund a new community pavilion with café and meeting area for local voluntary groups and a new play facility.  A Grade II listed lodge will be refurbished for use by park staff and community organisations, such as the police. The sunken garden will be restored and a new formal ‘World Garden’ created to provide a venue for public art exhibitions, events and small performances.

The next stage of the scheme will be the dredging and cleaning of the ornamental lakes, due to start later in July.


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