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Burning bridges

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Also speaking at the conference was John Devlin, Gateshead council's director of the development, who confirmed something that many may have been secretly suspecting for some time: that not everyone had been entirely happy with the news that the Millennium Bridge, designed by Wilkinson Eyre, would be coming to the city. Devlin claimed that getting approval for the scheme, which opened in September 2001, was in the most part extremely easy for the council. 'We always pushed at open doors, ' he said, 'because we got the design right.' However, the praise for the scheme, which links new arts and cultural developments on Gateshead Quays on the south bank of the River Tyne with Newcastle Quayside on the north, was not all encompassing. 'Newcastle council wasn't too happy about it, ' explained Devlin. 'They wanted it to happen, but they didn't want to fund it.'

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