THE North-East's newest bridge was lifted into place over the weekend.

The £250,000 footbridge, which is 24 metres long and weighs 15 tonnes, was erected at the Centre for Life genetic research centre, in Newcastle city centre, yesterday.

Designed to join two buildings at the centre, it was transported from Birtley, near Chester-le-Street, County Durham, where it was made, using a police escort, before being lifted into place using a 100-tonne crane.

The bridge is being installed to allow the expansion of research facilities in the Institute of Human Genetics.

Researchers will be able to access new tissue culture laboratories in the Bioscience Centre via the bridge.

It will ensure that staff and any materials passing between labs in either building remain in a safe environment.

The glazed bridge connects into external steel stair towers at the end of each of the two buildings.

The project is being managed by the Centre for Life and funded by regional development agency One NorthEast.

One NorthEast provided £6.5m as part of its support for the development of a Life Knowledge Park at the centre.