The sun shone as hundreds of people came together to celebrate the official reopening of Elland Bridge at the family fun day held by Calderdale Council and the Canal & River Trust yesterday (Sunday 2 April 2017).
Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:
“It was a fantastic event with a real community spirit. It was great to see so many people of all ages enjoying the wide range of activities, using local businesses and celebrating the official reopening of the bridge, canal and towpath. This was a key moment for Elland, sending out a clear message that the town is open for business.”
The bridge and surrounding area were alive with activity, with market stalls, musicians, entertainers, fairground rides, vintage buses and much more. On the canal, families enjoyed free boat trips and canoe taster sessions.
Crowds gathered to see Transport Minister Andrew Jones cut a ribbon from a barge to declare the bridge, canal and towpath officially open.
See the Council’s video of the event.
Richard Parry, chief executive of the Canal & River Trust said:
“With so many local people and businesses coming together this was not just a celebration of the new bridge but also of Elland and all that it has to offer. The sight of people enjoying a walk on the towpath, trying out the canoeing, or taking a boat trip was fantastic – and particularly rewarding for all those who have worked so hard in rebuilding the bridge.”
Elland Bridge reopened for pedestrians and cyclists in January 2017 and for vehicles last month, after being completely destroyed and rebuilt following the Boxing Day 2015 floods.
The work to rebuild the bridge has been financed through £5.5 million from the Department for Transport flood recovery fund.