The £500,000 refurbishment of a Grade II listed footbridge at Prudhoe has been completed.

Network Rail has reopened the bridge at the town's station for passengers after a major project to strengthen, clean and repaint it.

Work began on the refurbishment to restore the bridge to its former glory in July as Network Rail teams lifted it out in sections so the improvements could be carried out off site, keeping disruption to passengers to a minimum.

Once the bridge was removed, sand was blasted at the bridge to remove the layers of old paint and strip it back to bare metal.

Strengthening and repair work was done carefully to preserve the heritage of the footbridge and, where possible, new material to strengthen the bridge was put over the original metal.

After new coats of paint, the fully refurbished bridge was put back in place at the station earlier this month. The final stages of the project involved installing the new floor surfacing on the bridge before it could open for passengers.

Paul Rutter, route director for Network Rail’s East coast route, said: “The transformation of the footbridge at Prudhoe station is astounding and it’s great that this work has been completed in keeping with its heritage.

“It’s so much more than a fresh coat of the traditional red and white paint. Our teams have looked closely at every detail and restored the bridge back to its former glory.

“We want to thank passengers for their patience while temporary changes were made in the station. Now the footbridge is back in place, it can be used by passengers for years to come.”

Guy Opperman, MP for Hexham, said: “I am delighted that the refurbishment of the footbridge at Prudhoe station is complete and that it is now open for use again.

"Continued investment in the rail network along the Tyne Valley is hugely welcome as it improves passengers’ experience and, in this case, also safeguards a part of Prudhoe’s rail heritage for future generations.”

Kerry Peters, regional director at Northern, said: “Improvements like these at Prudhoe are essential in delivering our long-term strategy for the rail network and is a great example of the rail industry working together to improve the network.

“The work on the footbridge looks fantastic and is part of our ongoing commitment to make our stations better for customers.”