The Tyne Bridge will be restored to its former glory with a £35 million repair, the Roads Minister has announced.
The 96-year-old landmark which links Newcastle and Gateshead has fallen into disrepair in recent years, with rust and weather damage visible.
The A167 which runs across the bridge will also be improved to reduce congestion as part of the project which comes under the Government’s Network North plan.
Roads Minister Guy Opperman said: “Today is an historic day for Newcastle and the North East.
“Our £35 million boost will restore the Tyne Bridge in all its glory so that it can shine proudly as one of the UK’s most iconic landmarks.
“This is part of the Government’s Network North plan which will improve local transport across the North East, with today’s announcement following our record £544 million in funding for a long-term plan to resurface local roads across the North East.”
Politicians in Newcastle and Gateshead have been asking for years for repairs to the bridge to be carried out.
Asked why it has taken so long for the project to be funded, Mr Opperman said ongoing maintenance of the bridge was the responsibility of Newcastle and Gateshead councils.
“They then come to central Government for the full refurbishment, which is what they’ve done,” he said.
“That process has an outline business case and then a final business case.
“They’ve submitted that with a bit of back and forth in November. We’re delighted to sign that off this week.”
The bridge is a Grade II listed structure and was designed by the same team that created the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
A symbol of Tyneside since it was opened in 1928 by King George V, who crossed it in a horse-drawn carriage, it is used by 70,000 drivers daily and has shown its age lately.
The last major maintenance work to the bridge was carried out in 2001, while the A167 has not received significant maintenance since it opened in 1975.
Patricia Yates, chief executive of VisitBritain/VisitEngland said: “Our history and heritage are top motivators for visitors and it is fantastic to see this iconic and much loved landmark being restored, keeping its star shining brightly as a major draw for both domestic and international visitors for generations to come.”
The project will see the Government provide £35.2 million towards the total scheme cost of £41.4 million with the remainder paid by Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council.