Iconic tram bridge to be named in honour of Ningbo

10 Jun 2014 12:37:42.767

One of the most impressive structures being built as part of a multi-million pound NET tram extension will officially be named in honour of the special relationship shared between Nottingham and Ningbo in China. 

The steel bowstring bridge, which spans the city’s Ring Road, will be named the Ningbo Friendship Bridge by the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Ian Malcolm, and the Vice Mayor of Ningbo, Mr Zhang Minghua, at an official ceremony on Wednesday 11 June.

The naming of the bridge coincides with the 10th anniversary celebrations of the opening of The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) — the first foreign independent university campus to be established in China.

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Forging important links

The naming of such a significant new landmark on the city’s skyline also cements the existing relationship between Nottingham and Ningbo, helping to raise the profile of Nottingham in China - one of the world’s fastest growing economies - and forging important links in trade, education, and research between the two cities.

The strategic placement of Ningbo, just south of Shanghai, and the presence of UNNC, has led to a number of opportunities for Nottingham’s economy including Chang’An Automotive locating to the Nottingham Science Park and research work agreements being signed with Avic, a Chinese aerospace group. A number of Nottingham based businesses, including Asiana, Benoy, and Romax have also been able to establish a strong presence in China thanks to the close working relationships developed with Ningbo.

The Asia Business Centre at The University of Nottingham supports innovation partnerships and knowledge-transfer programmes across China, and the Nottingham Asia Network has brought forward projects to support the University’s Impact Campaign, which is aiming to raise £150m over the next five years for a series of high-impact philanthropic projects.

Strengthening relationships

Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, Professor David Greenaway, said: “The Ningbo Friendship Bridge is an outward symbol of the significant relationship between Nottingham and Ningbo, which has gone from strength to strength over the ten years since the inception of our campus in China. We are proud to be involved with such a prestigious event, which will see our two cities becoming ever closer for a mutually prosperous future.”

Vice Mayor of Ningbo, Mr Zhang Minghua, said: “In the past ten years, The University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus acts just as a bridge linking the two cities closely together. Today, I am honoured to witness the naming of a real bridge in our sister city, which shows the commitment of the City of Nottingham to the long-term friendly relations between us.”

Nottingham City Council Leader, Councillor Jon Collins said: “The naming of such an important new Nottingham landmark reinforces the very close bond we have forged with the city of Ningbo which is to the mutual benefit to both cities, our citizens, and our business communities, and we are very happy to be able to pay tribute to Ningbo in this way.”

Councillor Alan Clark, Portfolio Holder for International Links at Nottingham City Council, added: “The naming of The Ningbo Friendship Bridge will only help to further enhance the links we share with Ningbo in many areas including in trade, education, research, and technology, which brings real economic benefits to both our cities.” 

Prior to the official naming ceremony a delegation from the Vice Mayor of Ningbo’s office will see a special time lapse film of the Ningbo Friendship Bridge being driven into place which was captured by Nottingham firm Inside Out Group, - one of 100 local businesses to benefit from £86m worth of contracts awarded to Greater Nottingham firms since construction on the tram extension started.

The Ningbo Friendship Bridge will carry tram services on journeys to / from Chilwell, as part of a 17.5km extension of Nottingham’s tram service from Hucknall and Phoenix Park to Chilwell and Clifton.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university among graduate employers, the world’s greenest university, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

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For media enquiries, please contact Sarah Alton or Graham Keal at Nottingham City Council on:(0115) 876 3384 or 876 1677.

Notes to editors:

NET Phase Two tram extension

The 17.5km expansion of Nottingham’s tram network will serve key destinations including employment sites, the QMC, the University of Nottingham, Beeston town centre and Clifton, as well as junctions’ 24 and 25 of the M1, helping to further attract inward investment into Nottingham. 

The Ningbo Friendship Bridge:

Measuring 62 metres long and weighing more than 1,000 tonnes, the bridge is one of a series of structures that forms a 300-metre-long elevated tram route through the Queen’s Medical Centre - the country’s first regional hospital to be directly served by tram services – over the A52 Ring Road and down into the University of Nottingham’s campus.


Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email: charlotte.anscombe@nottingham.ac.uk  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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