Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Appeal for 22m to secure Gorge

The Iron Bridge, Shropshire
Built in 1779 the Iron Bridge is now a major tourist attraction

A council delegation has travelled to Europe to ask for 22m to help shore up the Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire.

Landslips have caused the historic bridge across the River Severn to become unstable in recent years.

The cost of work to secure the Gorge, a World Heritage Site, have been estimated at 86m.

The Telford and Wrekin Council delegation has travelled to Brussels to ask for the money from the European Commission.

Delegation leader Councillor Andrew Eade said the Gorge was cultural and economic asset to the area and it needed urgent action to ensure it was protected.

The bridge was built in 1779 and the site has been dubbed the "birthplace of the Industrial Revolution".

It attracts about 750,000 visitors a year.

The council has already undertaken works at the site in recent years and has spent 5.5m, along with more money provided by other agencies.

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