Polish bridge in Plymouth

This year’s renovation of the Gdynia Way bridge in Plymouth has marked the 45-years-long partnership between Plymouth and Gdynia. The brand new design of the bridge attracts people’s attention and symbolises the years of Plymouth’s and Gdynia’s friendship.

Plymouth, one of the UK’s biggest harbour towns, is inhabited by around 15,000 Polish people – since 1976 the town has had a partnership with Gdynia, one of Poland’s biggest harbour towns. The partnership is mostly visible in educational and cultural aspects: there have been many student exchange programmes between Plymouth and Gdynia schools as well as plenty of Gdynia’s theatre performances in Plymouth and vice versa. Plymouth has also donated money for the development of Gdynia’s hospitals and orphanages. Moreover, ever since 1983 there has been a street named ‘Gdynia Way’ in Plymouth, while Gdynia has had Skwer Plymouth (‘Plymouth Square’) with an anchor statue since 1982. 

2021 marks 45 years since the beginning of the Plymouth-Gdynia partnership. As an act of commemoration, Plymouth has renovated a bridge on Gdynia Way, also known as the ‘Polish bridge’. The entire work was only possible thanks to cultural grants from the government as well as funds from private sponsors. James Edgar Studio was contracted to do the renovation – not only did the company contact Polish institutions in Plymouth to discuss the project with them, but they also sent their representative to Gdynia to get a better understanding of the atmosphere of the city.

The new version of the bridge is blue, vibrant and attention-grabbing. There is a pattern of waves going across the bridge with text reading ‘MAKE WAVES Plymouth Gdynia’. This renovation added a bit of freshness to the town and has already attracted both the locals and tourists. 

Wiktoria Lewandowska

Pictures: Twitter @buildplymouth

 

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