A STRIKING “Meccano” bridge in Little Lever has been given a national award.

The bridge, which opened at Nob End in April last year, was presented with the Duplex Award at the Galvanisers Association architecture awards in London.

The £90,000 steelwork creation crosses the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal, linking Little Lever with Moses Gate Country Park.

It spans 21ft and is made up of 720 super sized bolts, each weighing 1.25kg together with scaled-up steel plates which have been galvanised then spray-painted in the colours of model construction system Meccano.

Public artist Liam Curtin designed the bridge and it was built by the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal Society with the help of volunteers living in the local area.

Mr Curtin, aged 63, who is originally from Liverpool, said: “It was great to be given this award for the bridge and I would like to thank the lovely people of Little Lever who gave up their time to help assemble the bridge — they were absolutely fantastic.

“I had come up with about 20 ideas for the bridge after being approached by the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal Society but the trouble was we couldn’t get a crane near to the site.

“I kept saying to myself we could do with something that bolts together like Meccano — then one day I just thought, why not Meccano itself?”

The Galvanisers Association awards, which took place at the Royal Aeronautical Society in Hamilton Place in London, are mainly aimed at architectural projects, but the Duplex award is for a galvanised product used together with materials in other finishes.

This is the second award for the Meccano bridge, after it won Best Practice Award 2013 from the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, North Western Branch.

Mr Curtin, who was awarded with a galvanized watering can as his prize, added: “This was a project that the community really took ownership of and they should be proud of it.”