Council agrees £2.7m to support Cloddach Bridge rebuild

Council agrees £2.7m to support Cloddach Bridge rebuild

Moray Council has agreed to contribute £2.7 million to the £4.23m needed to replace the Cloddach Bridge, near Birnie.

In March 2023 the UK Government committed to contribute £1.5m for the repair, subject to a full business case and match funding of at least 50%.

The commitment of funding means the financial case and full business case can be finalised and provided to the UK Government to determine if their contribution will be released. The bridge must demonstrate value for money in order to meet funding criteria.

During extensive discussion, the council was made aware that the decision to make funding available for Cloddach Bridge is seen as departing from its established Bridge Maintenance Prioritisation Policy. In the context of significant financial savings being considered for 2025 and beyond, it may mean work on other bridges in Moray could be deferred.

Council leader, Councillor Kathleen Robertson, said: “I’m pleased Moray Council has been able to support the next stage of the Cloddach Bridge rebuild in this way and glad we’re able to make the economic case for the work.

“We’re two years down the line from when we had to close the bridge on safety grounds and I appreciate the frustration of locals who just want decisions made. Given the precarious funding situation both at council and national level, over £4m isn’t a sum of money we can conjure up. We must be able to demonstrate value for that cost.

“We’ll continue to keep stakeholders and the community updated with progress over the next phase of the business case.”

Cloddach Bridge was built in 1905 with an estimated lifespan of between 100 and 120 years, after which it would require significant refurbishment or replacement. This bridge is located on the C2E road near Birnie and a traffic survey undertaken in 2020 showed the average number of vehicles crossing the bridge each day was less than 800.

Following numerous restrictive measures the condition of the bridge deteriorated, due to non-compliance with these measures, to the point it was closed in the interest of public safety in February 2022.

Share icon
Share this article: