Vital renovation work on Royal Deeside’s popular Polhollick Footbridge will begin next week after funding was secured.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Policy and Resources Committee approved funding of just over £300,000 for the works, which include essential repairs, strengthening, conservation and a full repaint.
Securing the funding for its renovation has not been an easy nor a quick task.Robert Gray, Head of Planning and Building Standards
The project to restore the B-listed structure will begin on May 18.
Polhollick Footbridge crosses the River Dee just upstream from Ballater and is an important component of the path network within the Cairngorms National Park.
The River Dee is a designated Special Area of Conservation due to the presence of Atlantic salmon, otters and freshwater pearl mussels in its waters.
Extensive consultations have been carried out to ensure the proposed works meet the approval of both Scottish National Heritage and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
Plans for the repair work have been in place since 2012, but the funding has not been available until now.
The £300,000 of funding for the work being carried out this summer will secure the integrity of the bridge and safeguard its future.
Updates will be available to the local community via the River Dee Trust and Dee Catchment Partnership websites.
Regular meetings will also continue between the council and key stakeholders, including Ballater Community Council.
GABRE UK won the tender for the work, which is expected to be completed in October this year.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Planning and Building Standards, Robert Gray, said: “Polhollick Footbridge is an iconic Victorian structure and a well-loved fixture of the Deeside landscape. This work will protect and secure the bridge for future generations to enjoy and will further encourage the local economy and tourism industry.
“Securing the funding for its renovation has not been an easy nor a quick task and Aberdeenshire Council would like to thank local residents for their understanding and patience throughout the planning process.”