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World champion opens floating bridge
WORLD champion paracanoeist Jeanette Chippington unveiled a new floating bridge at Longridge outdoor activities centre to help disabled sportsmen.
The new structure will improve access to its river and island.
Triple gold world champion and 2016 paralympic hopeful Jeanette cut the ribbon. She said: "I have been training here every day for about a year and this pontoon will make a real difference, it is an amazing structure."
Amanda Foister, Longridge CEO, revealed the project took two years to be finalised. The bridge became reality after Mrs Foister came across the company behind the system, Aqua-Dock, and received donations of £50,000 from Veolia Environmental Trust and £10,000 from Thames Water and Michael and Penny Taylor. The bridge is named after the Taylors.
The structure comprises flat floating pontoons which people can walk on to be used as a bridge or just as an access point to the river.
Mrs Foister said the floating device will not only benefit the people on wheelchairs, but will also help to create more activity opportunities on the island, such as camping.
"Because until now we had to swim or cross by boat, for safety reasons, we couldn’t camp there. Now we will be able to do that," she said.