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New Pooley Bridge

Pooley Bridge, UK

New Pooley Bridge

Pooley Bridge, UK


Cumbria County Council


2017 - 2021

Project Manager

Mott MacDonald

Contractor Team

Eric Wright, GHD


ICE North West Award 2021

Bridge Awards 2021

CIHT Engineering Award 2021

Offsite Award for the best infrastructure project 2021

Structural Steel Design Awards 2021

BCIA NIC Design Principles Award 2021

IStructE NW Engineering Award 2021

ICE People's Choice Award 2021 (Finalist)

AJ Architecture Award 2021 (Shortlisted)

ICE Constructability Award 2021 (Shortlisted)

CIHT Creating Better Places Award 2021 (Shortlisted)

BCIA Climate Resilience Project of the Year 2021 (Shortlisted)

BCIA Community Engagement Initiative of the Year 2021 (Shortlisted)

When a community demands more than just function

Pooley Bridge (town) is the North-Eastern gate into the Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a uniquely beautiful landscape. The original Pooley Bridge was a Grade II listed 3-span stone arch, built in 1764, which served as a critical link in the daily life of the area. The shock after its abrupt removal in the floods of December 2015 was partially relieved by the installation of a temporary Bailey Bridge three months later, but its ongoing presence was also a daily reminder of loss and vulnerability.

The opening of the new permanent bridge has been an emotional relief to the community reconnecting the Ullswater valley and restoring the normality of the village after five years. The new structure has been carefully designed following an intense stakeholder engagement process, listening to the community and focusing on their common aspirations to achieve a design that fits with their sense of identity and satisfies the technical standards.

The new bridge is a 40m span open-spandrel arch bridge, carrying a single road lane and two pavements with a composite stainless steel and concrete structure – the first of its kind in the UK. Its width varies between 7.5m and 9.5m.

Knight Architects’ scope comprised the stakeholder engagement process, options analysis, concept design, and client technical guidance through the detailed design and construction stages.

“It is encouraging to see that the new bridge has such an elegant contemporary design, which is fitting for a village which owes its name to its river crossing”

– David James, Historic England