AN ICONIC bridge connecting Scotland and England has closed for further works.

The 203-year-old Union Chain Bridge reopened last year following a major restoration project.

It was shut again to all traffic, including pedestrians and cyclists, on Monday (June 10).

The structure, which is the oldest vehicle suspension bridge in the world, is set to be closed until July 26, although contractors hope the work will be finished before then.  

Finishing works which were not completed last year will be carried out.

Paul Jones, director of environment and transport at Northumberland County Council, said: “The restoration of the Union Chain Bridge was a hugely challenging engineering scheme combining the latest techniques along with centuries-old craftsmanship and materials. 

“While it was important to get the main works completed and the bridge open, there were some non-critical elements which we need the contractor to complete, as well as some work to replace a number of the bridge deck panels under warranty. 

“It’s great to see the bridge being so well used again, and we apologise for the inconvenience, but we want the work to be done while the weather is better and ahead of the main summer holiday season.” 

The bridge received around £4.5 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in September 2019.  

The funding bid was put together by Scottish Borders Council and Northumberland County Council, alongside Museums Northumberland and community group Friends of the Union Chain Bridge.

It followed serious concerns about the long-term future of the world-famous structure. 

Both councils committed match funding towards the scheme, with other fundraising activities progressed by the Friends of Union Chain Bridge. 

Every piece of the bridge was removed and then either restored or replaced during the project.

A diversion will be in place throughout the closure period.