A BRIDGE into a picturesque Lake District village will close later this year so a permanent structure can be installed.

The crossing at Pooley Bridge was one of the most high profile casualties of Storm Desmond in December 2015.

The bridge will shut in the autumn - after the peak tourist season - and its replacement is not expected to be complete until Easter 2020.

The famous Pooley Bridge, built in 1764, was swept away by the sheer force of the swollen River Eamont, which flows out of Ullswater.

A temporary bridge was installed in March 2016 but this will be removed in October - but a temporary footbridge will be provided, to maintain connectivity.

A permanent replacement comes more than four years after the ancient structure was lost.

A timetable for the construction of a replacement bridge across the River Eamont has now been decided.

Work on the completed design is being finalised this month and preparatory work around the bridge will start in June or July.

A temporary footbridge will open in September and the temporary road bridge will be removed in September or October.

The main road bridge will be constructed between October and April next year.

Reopening of the road bridge is provisionally planned for Easter 2020 and demobilised completely by May 2020.

Visitors and local businesses will be reassured to know that easy diversion routes to the village will be well publicised and signed.

Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “The replacement bridge project is a key part of our Flood Recovery Programme and involves a number of complex issues that our design team have been working hard to resolve.

“We believe the revised target date for reopening the bridge is a realistic timetable and also takes account of local feedback about keeping the temporary road bridge in place until after next summer’s peak season.”

More than 40 local residents and stakeholders attended a meeting last year to hear about the timescale of the project for a new permanent bridge, a single carriageway crossing.

Recovery team officers say they had taken into account local concerns about the economic impact if no bridge was in place during the summer season.

Eric Wright Civil Engineering Ltd have been appointed as the contractor for the design for the bridge that will replace the historic structure destroyed by Storm Desmond.

Eric Wright’s appointment follows a competitive procurement process.

A spokeswoman for the firm said previously: “The new Pooley Bridge design and construct will provide resilience against extreme bad weather to ensure the infrastructure continues to connect communities, businesses and create opportunities for new development for future generations.

“Our highly experienced site team are working closely with the council.”