Bristol’s mayor is to bid for World Heritage status for the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
George Ferguson has set up a steering group to investigate applying for designation from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).
He believes Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Grade I-listed structure should be given protected status, to signify what is, he said, “one of the great European world heritage sites”.
The Clifton Suspension Bridge was designed by Brunel and completed in his memory in 1864, five years after his death.
It was originally meant for light horse-drawn traffic, but now has to withstand up to 12,000 vehicles crossing daily.
World Heritage sites are selected by Unesco and there are currently 28 in the UK, including Stonehenge in Wiltshire, the city of Bath and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew.
“We are one of the finest, historic cities in the country and World Heritage status really puts out a strong signal,” Mr Ferguson added.
“It’s another step in the journey to make people realise that Bristol is not just an industrial port.”