How it all began
In 1996 Gateshead Council launched a competition to find a bridge that would link developments on both sides of the River Tyne and also complement the existing six bridges crossing the river.
There were over 150 entries. Gateshead residents voted for their favourite design from a shortlist of leading architectural companies.
The brief was to create a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists that:
- Allowed ships to pass underneath;
- Did not overshadow the world famous view of the existing bridges;
- Didn't obstruct the Quayside.
The winning design by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and Gifford & Partners met the criteria perfectly. Everyone knew this design was exceptional.
Leader of Gateshead Council, Councillor Mick Henry said:
"When we chose the design for the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, we knew we had something very special. The many awards and accolades it has received for its design and construction, has certainly proved us right. But even though we knew how innovative it was, we have been taken aback by the massive worldwide interest in our bridge.
"Local people have taken the bridge to their hearts as a symbol of Gateshead's renaissance, and we are thrilled that the bridge now looks set to appear on a pound coin in the near future.
"But we are equally flattered that people right around the world are interested in what we have done, and will continue to do, in order to regenerate Gateshead Quays and East Gateshead."