AMBITIOUS plans to create the UK’s longest rope bridge across the River Tees are to go on show to the public.

Durham County Council is keen to build a £1.3m 265-metre suspension bridge over the river to the west of Barnard Castle.

Teesdale Marketing Ltd, the project’s sponsors, are applying for grants and funds to make the dream a reality.

The idea of a bridge was first suggested several year ago but councillors and residents criticised the initial plan.

A slimmed down redrafted version has since been designed and has met with a more favourable response.

The current scheme recently received a £300,000 funding boost from the council so it could carry out feasibility work.

The plans are to go on show to the public at Newgate Street Studios, Barnard Castle, on Tuesday, October 18.

There will be a display of 3D imagery and county council officers will be on hand to answer questions and hear feedback.

Councillor Neil Foster, Cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: "We have initial ideas on how the project can be developed.

"We want the people who live, work and operate in the area to tell us what they think of the proposal.

"We want people to come along to the exhibition, take a look at the initial plans and then give us their thoughts.

"These views can feed into the design and planning and will allow us to tailor certain aspects."

The favoured option is to create a woodland walk to the suspension bridge across the Tees connecting existing paths and rights of way.

This option could include a viewing platform which would offer a panoramic view of both the bridge and town.

The current scheme’s design is similar to that of the L’Ebron Brdge in France and it is hoped it will bring an extra £1.5m into the area a year.

Councillor Foster said: "We believe it could be of huge local benefit both culturally and economically.

"It is extremely important for all those with an interest in the project to come along to the exhibition.

"Teesdale continues to see economic growth and I believe that this scheme will have be significant economic benefits for local residents and businesses."

The exhibition will run from 9am until 7pm and feedback forms will be available on site.