We have been championing a Trent Valley Vision: an environmental initiative which aims to improve the landscape of the Trent Valley over a 50-year period to generate a multi-billion pound leisure and recreation economy at the heart of the country.
Central to this will be protecting and integrating the historic environment into a new attractive landscape while improving transport connections and infrastructure across the Valley. This includes the area covered by Swarkestone Bridge which currently provides a key river crossing south of Derby.
“Large parts of the Trent Valley have been used for gravel and sand extraction for many years, which has left behind a degraded landscape with isolated water bodies and former gravel sites.
“Our Trent Valley Vision project is looking at how we can make the most of the area for future development for those that live there now, and to attract businesses and housing development for the future within a framework of connected water bodies and woodland.
“The new landscape will provide leisure and recreation opportunities for residents, attract tourism and investment and benefit wildlife and the environment.
“An important part of my vision for the area is to look at Swarkestone Causeway and find the funding to build a new crossing over the river.
“The causeway is a scheduled ancient monument and used as a major route to get across the River Trent and the marshes since the 13th century.
“We will need to be very creative in how we find the funding for a new crossing, which would cost many millions of pounds. We are working hard to look at all sources of funding with all our partners.
“But if we do manage to secure the money to replace the causeway then the existing structure could then be used as a multi-user recreation route, which could prove to be a tourist attraction and bring revenue to the area.”
“The benefits of a new bridge to replace Swarkestone Causeway will be massive for South Derbyshire, a tremendous boost to the local economy and a real opportunity to develop our tourism offer.
“The Trent Valley is an intrinsic part of our beautiful district and we should welcome this opportunity with both hands.”