10th August 2022 | Working on
John Perkins Construction has been appointed as the principal contractor for the construction of a state-of-the-art, new-build visitor centre at Newport Transporter Bridge. The project got underway officially with a sod-cutting ceremony attended by local dignitaries.
A ceremonial greeting of rain
In attendance were Ruth Jones MP, Councillor Jane Mudd, Councillor Debbie Harvey, Jessica Morden MP, John Griffiths MS, Jayne Bryant MS and Dawn Bowden MS, as well as several key members of the John Perkins Construction team.
Rupert Perkins, Managing Director of John Perkins Construction, comments: “Despite the summer heatwaves, the sod-cutting ceremony was greeted with rain. As we were told, history relates that it was raining on the morning the original foundation stones were laid, and again when the bridge was opened. Therefore, it was only fitting for it to be raining during the official ground-breaking for the new visitor centre. It was still possible, despite the murkiness, to be captivated by the enthusiasm of the community stakeholders for their Transporter Bridge.”
He adds: “The whole JPC team is aware that working on this project is an honour, and we’ll do everything we can to ensure the works progress smoothly, adding value to the community and putting in place a lasting legacy.”
Bringing history to life
The new visitor centre, which will be linked to the bridge via a walkway, is set to bring the history of the bridge to life through showcasing the personal stories of those who designed, built and used the bridge. As Principal Contractor, John Perkins Construction will be working in close collaboration with Newport City Council, Newport Norse, and design team AWW.
Concurrently, extensive restoration work will be carried out by VolkerLaser on the bridge, an engineering masterpiece which dates back to 1902, ensuring its preservation for future generations.
Funding for the project has been provided by Newport City Council, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Welsh Government, the Wolfson Foundation, and the Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge.
Part of something special
Alex Jenkins, Commercial Director of John Perkins Construction, comments: “I was born and bred in Newport and, for me, the Transporter Bridge has always been an essential part of the backdrop of life in Newport.”
He adds: “It’s a privilege to be able to give back to the community of Newport, providing a state-of-the-art visitor centre for both this generation and future generations to learn about the bridge. I know I’ll be able to look back on this project and think, ‘I was a part of something special’.”