The iconic Iron Bridge has raised over £27k from more than 500 supporters in less than 48 hours, illustrating a heart-warming display of public support. The appeal has picked up a huge amount of media attention, including features in The Guardian and The Times, raising awareness for a cause that clearly lies in the hearts of so many. We are delighted to host this English Heritage project, that stands as a testament to what community spirit is all about.
As the first free-standing structure ever to be made of cast iron, the Iron Bridge stands (for almost 240 years so far!) as a monument to all those who worked relentlessly with what was then an entirely new and unknown material. As a turning point in British industry, their innovations have continued to inspire generations of engineers and have also transformed the way that we live today.
However, since opening on New Year’s Day in 1781, the bridge has had its fair share of trials and tribulations in the face of weathering, ground movement in the gorge and even an earthquake 100 years ago. These challenges have left the structure at risk, with extensive surveys revealing that the bridge is now under threat from cracking caused by stresses in the ironwork. Crucial and careful conservation is the only way to safeguard the iconic bridge, so that people can enjoy it in the future just as we do today.
As part of the funding-mix for this endeavour to repair the Iron Bridge, which will cost a total of £3.6m, English Heritage have turned to the Crowd to ask for their help to save the historical monument of human endeavour. Whilst the amount that they hope to raise from the Crowd may seem small in comparison to the total sum required, English Heritage recognise that crowdfunding can provide something beyond just the funds required.
Luke Purser, Development Director at English Heritage, said, “It will cost £3.6m to conserve the Iron Bridge and we’re very grateful for the support that we’ve already received from our members and donors so far. But to save this wonder of the modern world, we need everyone’s help. That’s why we opened Project Iron Bridge up to the Crowd – to give as many people as possible the opportunity to be part of the Iron Bridge’s story and ensure that this historic landmark is there for future generations to enjoy.”
By asking for the public’s support (to initially raise £25k), the charity aims to provide the chance for everyone to get involved and play a role in passing on the legacy of those who shaped our world today. After hitting this target in less than 48 hours, English Heritage have now stretched their target, meaning that public support can continue to grow.
Si Walker, Head of Campaigns at Crowdfunder, said, “It’s fantastic to work alongside English Heritage to raise funds for Project Iron Bridge. The overwhelming support so early on in the campaign is testament to the bridge itself, but also to the team behind the project. Whilst I think we all recognise that the amount English Heritage aim to raise from the Crowd is small against the overall funding goal, we’re delighted that the project has been opened up to the community of supporters who are already becoming a very important piece of the Iron Bridge’s story. We’re excited to see the success of the Iron Bridge Crowdfunder project as one of many more heritage projects to come.”
With the impactful message, ‘you can help save this industrial icon’, English Heritage welcome your support to ensure that the future of the Iron Bridge is a bright one.
Get involved and be a part of the Iron Bridge’s story today.