Crossing Borders, Inspiring Communities

Union Chain Bridge: Crossing Borders, Inspiring Communities, is an ambitious cross-border project to conserve the historically and internationally significant Union Chain Bridge and to deliver an exciting and engaging programme of events, activities and learning opportunities.

Set in a beauty spot which was once a hive of engineering ingenuity, the Category A/Grade I Listed Union Chain Bridge majestically spans the River Tweed. Completed in 1820, it was then the longest chain suspension bridge in the world and heralded a new era in bridge building in the UK. It was the first chain suspension bridge in Europe to carry wheeled traffic and remains the oldest still in use worldwide. The innovative manufacturing and engineering techniques employed on the Bridge were hugely influential in the development of suspension bridges around the world.

Today, the engineering and technology skills gap is a huge problem for the UK. Reports show that in short, nationally we need to buck the trend of dwindling STEM skills or face a significantly detrimental impact on our economy. The conservation of the Union Chain Bridge offers a unique opportunity to engage and enthuse children and young people in engineering, using the world’s oldest vehicular chain link suspension bridge as a catalyst for change.

The project will breathe new life into the Union Chain Bridge, celebrate the structure’s historical and international significance, and raise aspirations in our children and young people, inspiring a new generation of engineers.

Find out more about the history of Union Chain Bridge here.