WORK to restore a 300-year-old bridge to its former glory after it was battered by storms is complete.

Eals Bridge, which crosses the South Tyne near Knarsdale, was badly damaged by Storm Desmond in the winter of 2015/16, as well as land that surrounded it.

Sixty metres of wall and parts of the road were washed away, along with large sections of the river bank, putting the future of the 300-year-old structure at risk.

The storms caused millions of pounds worth of damage to homes and infrastructure, prompting Northumberland County Council to launch a repair programme. It was part funded by the Government’s Department of Transport (DfT), which allocated £14.6m towards repair costs across the county.

A detailed analysis of Eals Bridge also revealed cracks to the structure, thought to have been caused by years of heavy traffic using the crossing.

Therefore, it was decided that the repairs to the bridge and river bank would be done in co-ordination with each other.

Now the river bank has been completely reinforced, the masonry repaired and a layer of carbon fibre inserted into the bridge deck, future-proofing the structure, making it the final job to be completed as part of the county-wide flood repairs programme.

Coun. Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services, said: “The complexity of the work and the need to keep the bridge open to minimise disruption meant it has taken some time but I’m delighted the work is now complete. It’s a 300-year-old bridge but an essential link between remote communities so it was vital the work was done.”