Britain is to fund the construction of 250 bridges in rural Sri Lanka, the British Foreign Office said.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox announced that UK Export Finance (UKEF) will provide £49 million worth of support for Darlington-based firm Cleveland Bridge to construct 250 bridges for rural Sri Lankan communities.
This project has been designed to accelerate Sri Lanka’s development through improvements in its rural transport infrastructure.
Families and businesses will benefit directly from the project, reducing the distance people need to travel to reach essential services such as healthcare and education, as well as bringing rural communities closer together by cutting transport costs.
The financing of these 250 bridges follows the provision of support in 2011 for 210 bridges and in 2014 for 618 bridges.
The Sri Lankan Government estimates that collectively the bridges will benefit more than 100,000 families as well as businesses in the country.
The company has designed and built a number of iconic landmarks including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Tyne Bridge.
Cleveland Bridge designs its modular bridges in the UK and they are easily assembled to meet the specific needs of each project.
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said that Cleveland Bridge demonstrates the value British design and engineering can bring to the world stage.
“Over the course of the last 100 years UK Export Finance has led the way in delivering innovative finance to help British companies achieve international success across a wide range of industries and countries. I am delighted that as UKEF marks its centenary year, it continues not only to support the UK’s exporters but also those transformational projects that will have a direct impact on the lives of citizens across the globe,” he said.
Don Underwood, Commercial Consultant, Cleveland Bridge said that they are delighted UKEF has chosen to support the project, and Cleveland Bridge’s continued growth.