Well attended AGM hears about the benefits of a guaranteed river crossing! Our 23rd Annual General Meeting had to be relocated at short notice to St. Mary’s Parish Centre from Burley Library, but was nonetheless well attended again this year. All existing trustees were re-elected, with the Chair, Peter Bayer, Treasurer – Ian Hanson, and Secretary – David Asher, confirming they were willing to remain in post for a further year. Two additional members of the committee were confirmed – Cllr Duncan Ault as the new Burley Parish Council nominee, and Richard Auton. They will both bring important skills and knowledge to the committee at this crucial time. Ian confirmed that the savings account, which since the last AGM had been dedicated solely for construction and maintenance costs, had doubled in size over the year to £11000. This was due to donations, increase in membership income and fundraising events. (This figure continues to grow with approximately £14000 now in the fund). We anticipate it will provide important evidence of locally raised income to use within our major funding applications which we will shortly be starting. Our speaker at the AGM was Paul Burgess, the manager of Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - which, of course, includes the far side of the River Wharfe from Burley and to which the bridge will provide a guaranteed access. Paul gave an informative presentation about the role of AONBs, including a fascinating comparison with National Parks in terms of areas of responsibility and funding. Basically, AONBs and National Parks share many of the same objectives such as protecting and enhancing the environment. Indeed they often adjoin each other as the Yorkshire Dales National Park borders the Nidderdale AONB. Paul impressed the audience with a description of the many projects the AONB has successfully developed since being created in 1994 through working in partnership with landowners and other environmentally conscious bodies.
We concluded by acknowledging the benefits which the Yorkshire Heritage Way could bring to both Burley and the AONB, for instance in terms of increased footfall from urban areas in West Yorkshire and further afield, so benefiting local businesses. The Yorkshire Heritage Way is a proposed, long distance walk which our bridge will facilitate linking Yorkshire’s two World Heritage Sites, Saltaire and Fountains Abbey. Find out more about the work of Nidderdale AONB and their plans at https://www.nidderdale.co.uk/community/nidderdale-aonb/
Last call for the Fairfax Singers concert, Saturday 29 June Tickets are available for our fundraising concert with the locally based Fairfax Singers. We are grateful to one of our members who sings with the choir who suggested that they would be willing to offer us a concert to raise funds for the bridge. Doors at Burley Methodist Church will open at 7.00 for a 7.30 start. The performance will feature their young guest soprano soloist, Maddy Podesta, with music from Elgar, Dvorak, Roger Quilter, George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Carly Simon, and much more. Tickets costing £10 are available from our usual outlets – the Coffee Station in Burley, and Just Books in Otley and Ilkley. They can also be purchased on-line from https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/burley-bridge-association.
BBA appoints firm with local connections for the next phase The trustees have after careful consideration, recently appointed GHD, a global company but with a local base and strong connections to Burley, to work with the BBA in the next and hopefully final phase of the project.
The current design for the bridge was developed by London based Stephen James of Ramboll UK, and led to planning approval being given by both Harrogate and Bradford Councils. The design also attracted far more support in the village than previous versions. With both councils indicating recently that they would be prepared to consider using their statutory powers to ensure the project can be completed, we have, as members and supporters know, felt more confident that the project can finally be completed. We would like to thank Ramboll for their assistance in getting us this far.
In reviewing the need, though, for up to date costs for the project that can be used in major fundraising applications to trusts and foundations etc., it became apparent to trustees that there would be significant advantages in working with a company with more local connections. We have, therefore, considered submissions from three companies with an excellent track record of bridge design and development work through to construction, (including Ramboll UK). After careful consideration including informal and formal discussion and interview, the trustees have decided to appoint GHD as our new design and development partners.
We were particularly impressed with the thoroughness of GHD’s approach in looking at how to improve the current design, including proposals to reduce risk of flood damage and increase structural stability, their careful consideration of the challenges faced by the site, as well as their costs. Trustees are very excited about the new partnership with GHD and will be meeting with representatives shortly to discuss their ideas for improvements to the existing plans. More details to follow! In the meantime, if you want to find out more about GHD, why not look at their website: https://www.ghd.com/en-us/services/bridges.aspx
Visit our stall during the Burley Summer Festival We will have a stall for the second year running on Sunday 18 August in Grange Park, Burley, as part of one of the major events of the Burley Summer Festival. Come and find us and hear the latest news about the project from trustees.
Jazz concert at Burley Social Club 5 October Tickets are now on sale on-line for our October 5 jazz concert with the Two Rivers Jazz Band, the Band Upstairs, and Chevin Jazz at Burley Social Club. They can be purchased at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/burley-bridge-association . Tickets will also be on sale later in the summer from our usual outlets.