Prince Charles to help restore storm-damaged Cambus O' May bridge
A suspension bridge over the River Dee which was severely damaged by floods in 2015 is to be returned to full use with the help of Prince Charles.
The Cambus O' May bridge, which was built in 1905, has been closed since it was battered by Storm Frank.
The repair work will be part-funded by a donation from the prince and will be carried out by local contractors.
Prince Charles previously made a donation to help re-open the nearby Ballater caravan site.
His charity, The Prince's Foundation, will also "play its part in the bridge's renaissance" by aiming to raise matching funding from the business community.
The charity's north-east spokesman Robert Lovie said: "His Royal Highness is determined to see the lovely Edwardian suspension bridge at Cambus O' May restored.
"It is admired by everyone driving past and walking alongside the Dee, and now the efforts of the local community are about getting it back to what it was ‒ an icon and viewpoint prized by those in Royal Deeside.
"In the same vein as the support he offered throughout 2016 following Storm Frank, His Royal Highness has made a personal donation and The Prince's Foundation is generating in-kind support from the business community to assist the contractor to get the work done."
'Part of our heritage'
The total cost of restoring the bridge is about £400,000, with Aberdeenshire Council committing £250,000 towards the project.
Kate Allum, of local charity Ballater Royal Deeside (BRD), is part of the fundraising team that has raised a further 10% of a £150,000 target to ensure the restoration of the bridge.
She said: "For the local community and visitors, the Cambus O' May bridge is a cherished feature on a beautiful part of the river.
"Like Polhollick Bridge, it is part of our heritage and our countryside, and the fact that it looks so sad at the moment is awful. It cannot be allowed for something that is so important to our community to be left as a scar on the landscape."