PROPOSALS for a suspension rope bridge over the River Tees in Barnard Castle have been passed back to a Teesdale marketing company.

Durham County Council (DCC) spent £313,000 on feasibility studies to figure out whether the idea could progress to the planning stage.

They said that the money was allocated for research into environmental, heritage and technical issues, as well as the subsequent full technical design documents.

Jeanette Armin, principal project manager at DCC, said: “As we promised, we have fully completed this work. This means the proposed bridge is now at a stage where the project could be taken forward, subject to Teesdale Marketing Limited finding the funding and resolving the land issues.

“Once they are concluded the council would be happy to continue leading on the planning process as previously outlined.

“The project has been managed in partnership with Teesdale Marketing Limited and collectively we would not wish to progress to a planning application without land discussions being fully resolved or funding being secured.”

The proposals, which are now in the hands of Teesdale Marketing Ltd, could bring around 30,000 tourists to Barnard Castle.

Teesdale Marketing was unavailable for comment.