People in South Ribble are being given the chance to help shape the future of one of Lancashire’s most picturesque areas.

West Lancashire and South Ribble residents are being asked to give their views on some unique designs for a proposed new bridge which will improve access for walkers, cyclists and horse riders over the River Douglas.

Seven short listed entries from an international design competition will be on show from next week at local venues and manned exhibitions.

The designs will be available to view and comment on from Monday, at Longton and Tarleton libraries, Tootsies Ice Cream Parlour and The Smithy Inn in Much Hoole and also online via the website below.

Two staffed displays will also be held at Walmer Bridge Village Hall on September 23 and Hesketh Bank’s All Saints Church Hall on September 25, between 2pm and 7pm.

Matthew Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “This is a very exciting project for the area and will give people more choice on how they travel around the county.

"We want people to get in touch and tell us what they think about the short listed designs as it will be local residents that will be using the bridge.”

The REMADE in Lancashire land reclamation programme has commissioned the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to run a competition for the new bridge, which is proposed to be built at the site of the old railway bridge between Hesketh Bank in West Lancashire and Much Hoole in South Ribble.

The competition attracted 110 entries in July from around the world.

These have now been shortlisted and seven architectural and engineering practices will now go through to the final judging process which will take in to account the comments from the consultation.

The winner will be announced week commencing October 13.

As a landmark feature of the Ribble Coast and Wetlands Regional Park, the bridge will facilitate off road access for walkers, cyclists and horse riders to local attractions and community facilities, by providing an alternative crossing point to the busy A59 road bridge at Tarleton.

It is hoped the bridge will form part of an extension to the existing Lancashire Coastal Way, as part of a wider Northwest Coastal Trail project, while also enabling the development of a National Cycle Network route between Southport and Preston.

To find out more about the River Douglas Bridge Design Competition, the REMADE programme and the Ribble Coast and Wetlands Regional Park project visit