English Heritage’s first ever crowd-funding campaign has reached its target of £40,000 to help save the Iron Bridge in just over a week.

The Iron Bridge has spanned the River Severn in Shropshire since 1779. Photo: English Heritage
The Iron Bridge has spanned the River Severn in Shropshire since 1779. Photo: English Heritage

The charity launched its crowd-funding campaign on 13 November, the first day of its vital conservation project on the world’s first iron bridge, and by 3.15pm on 20 November, nearly 800 supporters had helped the charity raise more than £40,000 towards the project.

The target is complemented by a €1m donation from the German Hermann Reemtsma Foundation, providing a much-needed boost to the charity’s conservation project to save the Iron Bridge.

The Iron Bridge has spanned the River Severn in Shropshire since 1779, but English Heritage’s extensive surveys and investigations have shown that it is under threat from cracking due to stresses in the ironwork dating from the original construction, ground movement over the centuries, and an earthquake at the end of the 19th century.

The £3.6m conservation project to save the bridge – English Heritage’s largest conservation project since becoming a charity – started on 13 November, and the crowd funding campaign was launched on the same day to raise the final funds needed to undertake the works.

Morgan Cowles, Head of Conservation Maintenance at English Heritage said:

“The support we have received has been overwhelming and we are delighted that nearly 800 people have stepped in to help us reach our target in just over a week. The funds raised will now help English Heritage undertake our vital conservation project to save the Iron Bridge.

“It has been an inspiring week, and the generosity of those who have come forward to help us protect this important piece of our heritage has been incredible. We are so grateful to everyone who has donated, and we look forward to welcoming many of the bridge’s supporters on their special conservation-in-action tours in 2018.”

“For those who still want to be part of the project, I am delighted to report that the Crowdfunder page will remain open for donations until Sunday 10 December. All donations beyond the target will continue to support the conservation of the Iron Bridge.”

To donate to Project Iron Bridge, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/project-iron-bridge/.