Bridge: Access To East Beach Secured
One of the key actions highlighted by the Trust’s original 5 year plan was to improve or upgrade the Seatown bridge which once provided a crucial connection to the East Beach. The Trust researched and worked for over five years to achieve full funding from the Scottish Government and ensure access for future generations.
Key milestones in the five-year effort:
With the demise of the Harbour Board, ownership of the bridge was assumed to have been handed over to the follow-on agencies of the Grampian region Moray District and Moray Councils. Following further investigation, it was confirmed that the Crown had accepted ownership of the bridge – though they subsequently stated that they had no intention or obligation to do any work to the bridge. The Crown was keen to see transfer of ownership to anybody that could maintain the bridge in a suitable manner. On completion of the New Bridge the Crown will hand over ownership of the bridge to The Moray Council.
The Trust commissioned two reports from Fairhurst, Elgin, which highlighted the poor condition of the bridge and some repair options. These reports however didn’t cover the condition of the wooden support structure below the water line, the condition of which was crucial for long term use. Further funding was secured for a full structural survey and options appraisal report, funded by the Beatrice Fund and local donations, which confirmed the need for a new bridge.
Fundraising: The final fundraising hurdle was to secure the finance to replace the bridge. This was achieved in 2021, when the Scottish Government stepped in to guarantee the project.
The Old Bridge was built and installed at the esplanade in 1908. Shortly after completion it was removed as it stopped the fishing boats unloading their catches at the Seatown. It was stored from 1912 and rebuilt at the Seatown position in 1918. The Bridge was built by the Harbour Company following a loan from the town council. In 1925 the Harbour Company ceased to exist, and ownership fell eventually by default to the Crown. In the almost 100 years since this transfer, the bridge was maintained by the local town council and then local authorities in their varied guises.
Lossiemouth Community Development Trust
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Lossiemouth Community Development Trust is a Scottish Charity registration number SC045972.