Old Tram Bridge Competition

Above: Existing side view of the bridge from Avenham River Side - photo credit John Bridge

It’s been almost three years since the Old Tram Bridge was closed over safety fears.

The Old Tram Bridge formed part of Lancashire County Council’s
Transforming Cities Fund (TCF), and while Preston benefits from this significant
investment, proposals to repair the bridge under this scheme were unsuccessful. Since
then, both authorities have stated that unless external funding is found, the bridge will
remain closed, falling into even greater disrepair.

Above: View of 'Keep Out' sign - photo credit John Bridge

That’s why the Government’s £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund, earmarked for infrastructure investment and regeneration across the country, presents a game-changing opportunity for Preston City Council to reopen this crucial part of the travel network connecting the communities of Preston and South Ribble. According to the Chancellor, the Levelling Up scheme will invest in local infrastructure in areas which have received less government investment in recent years and are in desperate need of renewal. If a bid is prepared, Preston could still be awarded up to £20 million in the second round of funding to invest in projects such as the Old Tram Bridge, which in turn could unlock £7 million of investment in Avenham and create local jobs.

The Competition
The Old Tram Bridge Competition will give people in Preston the opportunity to submit
their designs for what a ‘New Tram Bridge’ could look like if Preston City Council
secures the necessary funding to rebuild the structure, and repairs alone are not viable.
The competition is sponsored by a number of local businesses and organisations,
including studio John Bridge Architects, PR and marketing agency Fifty2M, David Cox
Architects, Michael Bailey Estate Agents, and Friends of Tram Bridge.
An independent panel will judge entries in the competition and the first-place winner will
not only receive a cash prize of £1,000 but could also one day see their design built if
the necessary funding can be found.
Entry Criteria
Entry to the competition is free. However, we do ask any entrants to consider donating
what they can afford, however big or small, to the Preston branch of Samaritans – a
charity dedicated to preventing suicide.
There are no set criteria for the style of designs; entries are encouraged to show
innovation with designs drawn by hand or electronically, reflecting both the heritage of
the Old Tram Bridge and the local Avenham and Winckley Square area.
Please provide your full name, address, and contact number in your submission, in
addition to a description of your bridge and your inspiration behind it.
Entries must be submitted between 06 December 2021 and 31 January 2022, in hard
copy to:
Old Tram Bridge Competition
studio John Bridge Ltd.
42 Lune Street
Preston PR1 2NN
Or electronically to
(Please ensure the designs are in PDF format, maximum file size of 10mb)
£1000 sponsored by David Cox Architects and W_rkspace
£500 sponsored by Michael Bailey Estate Agents
£250 sponsored by Eastham’s and Co Estate Agents
£150 sponsored by FC Developments and Barba
10 x £25 Waterstone Vouchers (entries under 16 only) sponsored by Friends of
Tram Bridge.
A two-week internship with David Cox Architects
A two-week internship with John Bridge Design Studio
In addition to the main competition, there is also a photography prize worth £250 for the
best photograph of the Old Tram Bridge taken throughout December and January. The
award is sponsored by Audi Preston.
Entries in the competition will be judged by an independent panel (to be announced)
with the winners announced on 13 February 2022.
By Daniel Dewhurst

Google Map site location of the Bridge