Competition-winning proposals by Tonkin Liu for a new footbridge in Salford have been put on hold due to a lack of funds
The practice landed the project to create the pedestrian link across the River Irwell in 2014 following an RIBA-backed contest held the previous year. The practice’s ‘poetic, innovative and elegant’ concept was chosen ahead of concept schemes by Moxon Architects, Wolfgang Buttress Studio with Toby Savage Design and LDA Design.
However, a planning application for the project has yet to be submitted and, it has emerged, will not progress until more cash can be found to build the scheme.
Salford mayor Paul Dennett told the AJ that the Salford Meadow Bridge had been ‘approved in principle’ but added: ‘Before this idea can be made in practice we need to secure some more funding.
‘Some initial Section 106 funds have been secured and Salford City Council will continue to respond to opportunities to build up further contributions from future development in the local area surrounding the project site.’
He added: ‘Salford City Council will also continue to seek further external funding from emerging and future major transport infrastructure funding programmes. Planning applications will be submitted as and when sufficient funding is in place for delivery of the project.’
The competition, which was run for Salford City Council, attracted 172 submissions from 31 countries. In 2013 Manser Medal-winner Cezary Bednarski slammed the contest as a ‘waste of effort and money’, and an ‘example of how not’ to run a contest.
If built, it is hoped the bridge will play ‘a crucial role’ connecting The Meadows – a 7ha green space within the northern section of the Irwell River Park project – with the £650 million redevelopment of Salford Central.
Anna Liu of Tonkin Liu said: ‘I have every faith in Salford City Council’s commitment to the project, having worked hard in the context of growth and infrastructure in the larger urban area.
‘The bridge is an amenity and an infrastructure, for the enjoyment of River Irwell and the Meadows, one of the biggest open green spaces in the area.’
Tonkin Liu with Arup London - competition-entry from 2014