Design competition launches for Old Tram Bridge

Local enthusiasts hope to inspire the council to bid for funding to replace the long-closed bridge.

Old Tram Bridge was originally constructed in 1802 and largely rebuilt in 1935 after flood damage. It has been closed for three years because of safety concerns. Attempts to repair it have been unsuccessful due to lack of funding.

That’s why a group of Prestonians, led by former city councillor Daniel Dewhurst, have started the Old Tram Bridge Competition. People are encouraged to submit their own design for what a new Old Tram Bridge could look like. The competition is free to enter and open to all ages.

The grand prize is £1,000. Other prizes include two-week internships with Studio John Bridge and David Cox Architects.

Architect John Bridge said he hopes the competition will put a spotlight on the bridge.

“This competition will hopefully highlight the need for the bridge and how important it is for the people of Preston and South Ribble,” Bridge said.

“Our hope is the council will see the interest and think it would be worthwhile putting in a Levelling Up Fund bid,” he added later. “That’s what we’re trying to do – we’re trying to help the council.”

Bridge’s studio has already worked up a design of its own – one that it had crafted years ago.

A design for Preston’s Old Tram Bridge from Studio John Bridge. Credit: Studio John Bridge

The competition will be judged by an independent panel. The winner will be announced on 13 February 2022.

In addition to the design competition, there is also a photography contest looking for the best photograph of the bridge. The prize for that competition is £250.

Learn more about the competition and submit your entry at