World Heritage Status Bid for Forth Bridge

The Forth (Rail) Bridge is the first of only two UK sites being submitted for UNESCO World Heritage status, after the iconic Bridge topped the Tentative List of 11 UK nominations, followed by the Gorham’s Cave Complex in Gibraltar.

MSP Bill Walker, whose Dunfermline constituency is just a short distance from the Bridge, said he was hopeful it would be recognised by UNESCO.

He said: “The Forth Bridge richly deserves this opportunity to win the accolade of World Heritage Site status. It is recognised all over the world as an emblem of Scotland and of first-class, pioneering Scottish engineering.

“If the bid is successful, this would be a great boost for Scotland and the Kingdom of Fife in terms of prestige and the economy, as it would make the rail bridge Scotland’s sixth World Heritage Site, a great tourist draw.”

Mr Walker, who is also a chartered engineer, added:

“This accolade would be a tribute to everyone who has worked on the Bridge over its 130-year history.  This includes especially the 73 men who died building it and who were recently recognised with two bronze memorial monuments unveiled by the First Minister, Alex Salmond, near either end of the Bridge. 

“We should never forget, also, that this magnificent structure was designed and built generations before the advent of computer-aided design and manufacturing. World Heritage status would be a fitting memorial to the ingenuity and skills of all the men who designed and built the Bridge without the help of so many modern methods we now take for granted.  This substantial but beautiful bridge will surely last another 130 years”.

The Forth Bridges Forum, which includes representatives from Historic Scotland, Network Rail and Fife Council, will now prepare a bid for submission to UNESCO in 2014. After eighteen months’ of intense scrutiny and evaluation, the decision as to whether the Forth Rail Bridge gains World Heritage recognition is expected to be announced.

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