Telford & Wrekin Council leader Councillor Shaun Davies and borough mayor Councillor Stephen Reynolds have written to thank a German organization that has agreed to help fund English Heritage’s ongoing repair of the Iron Bridge.
The Hamburg-based Hermann Reemtsma Foundation has made a one million euro donation to English Heritage to support the charity’s £3.6m restoration project, which is taking place over the course of the next year.
In making the donation, the Foundation – set up in memory of industrialist Hermann F. Reemtsma – said it wants reinforce England and Germany’s industrial heritage and broader closer bonds.
It also said the 238 year old land mark served as a "potent reminder” of the continent’s common cultural roots and values and added that it seems "more important than ever” in the current climate.
It is the first time the Foundation has funded a venture in the UK. It more typically invests in projects in Germany and Poland.
In their letter of thanks, Councillor Davies and borough mayor Councillor Stephen Reynolds hailed the donation as a "magnificent gesture” which would "go a long way” to help secure the future of one of the world’s greatest treasures.
"Here in Telford, we are very proud of our borough’s role in the birthplace of the industrial revolution and the Iron Bridge is a beautiful historic symbol of those vital years in the development of the modern world, " says the letter of thanks.
"However it is not immune from the ravages of time and English Heritage’s repair project is essential to its long term future. Like any project of this nature, it comes with a big bill and so we are very, very grateful to the Herman Reemtsma Foundation for their generosity.”
The repair effort has also been boosted by an incredible public response to English Heritage’s £40,000 crowdfunding appeal to help complete the full restoration, which reached its target in just over a week.
"The public response to the appeal has been amazing and just demonstrates the affection that people have for the bridge and the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site as a whole,” added Councillor Davies.
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