All shipshape for Seaham marina

Durham County Council Project Manager Lisa Jordan with Norman Cann Seaham Harbour Dock Company Development Officer with the Waterside Business Units at the North Dock.
Durham County Council Project Manager Lisa Jordan with Norman Cann Seaham Harbour Dock Company Development Officer with the Waterside Business Units at the North Dock.
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THE multimillion-pound revamp of a marina is finally set to open.

Seaham’s North Dock redevelopment was due to be finished in the summer of 2010, but was hit by delays caused by the difficulties of working on the historic harbour.

However, the project is still on budget at £3.2million and efforts are now under way to fill its 11 business units and 77 berths as the final touches are made before it opens at the end of January.

Expressions of interest have been gathered throughout the process, including 150 people adding their name to a list for the berths, Now, developers are asking more people to come forward to register their interest in helping breath new life into the site.

They are particularly keen to find someone to run the “upper deck” cafe unit on the first floor of the business centre.

Those who would like to take on the unit may have to pitch their idea in a Dragon’s Den-style interview.

Lisa Jordan, the project manager, said: “The units will be rented and they’re all a basic shell.

“We could have got some grant funding, which means people coming in could be given incentives and help, subject to some terms and conditions.”

Four of the units are set aside for offices and it is hoped ventures which complement the marina operations could move in.

Once up and running, the marina will be run by a Community Interest Company which will plough any profits it makes back into the North Dock.

Setbacks at the site have included issues surrounding the dock gates, with a bespoke system made to ensure the design was right for the entrance to the pontoon area. It will be used to ensure the boats berthed in the dock, which was built in the early 19th century to export coal from the area’s coalfields, are not damaged as the tide goes out.

Among the final works to be done at the dock is the installation of railings, fencing, signs and seats, with work also underway at the entrance to the marina off North Terrace to put in new pathways.

Anyone who would like to register for a place in the centre or a pontoon can contact Lisa on 0300 263 049 or email lisa.jordan@durham.gov.uk

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham