MORE than a third of a million pounds is to be spent restoring Clacton’s iconic Venetian bridge.

The 103-year-old bridge, which spans Pier Gap, has been propped up with emergency scaffolding since a piece of the structure crumbled away in July 2014.

Investigations revealed the top deck of the bridge was no longer waterproof, allowing moisture and salt to get inside and corroding the stonework.

Bosses at Tendring Council have now given the green light for a £355,000 repair programme to be carried out.

The council had even considered removing the bridge.

Leisure and tourism boss Mick Skeels is pleased the decision to save it has finally been made.

He said: “It took some time to come up with the best way forward and a number of options have been considered along the way.

“The cost for removing the bridge and being left with nothing was in itself thought to be nearly as much as taking the bridge down.

"We would still need to maintain the stability of the embankments currently provided by the bridge, and the likely cost of this was difficult to determine without taking down the bridge.

“The repairs will mean the life of the bridge is extended far into the future and is retained as an iconic focal point for visitors to the area.”

Repair work is due to start this autumn. The bridge was built over Pier Gap as part of a revamp of the area in 1914.