NEW homes, a hotel and road improvements are part of an action plan to help a town and neighbouring village thrive.
The Seaham and Murton Masterplan aims to build on the recent regeneration in the former coalfield and back projects that are under way or yet to become a reality.
It is hoped the work will secure their future as “modern and vibrant” places and attract investors, jobs and visitors.
The ideas come as its population begins to grow following decades of decline in the wake of the colliery closures. About 22,000 people now live in Seaham and 7,350 in Murton.
The masterplan’s aims include:
l Develop leisure attractions, including the North Dock’s marina scheme, due to open next month, its coastline and green links between the town and village.
l Improve land above the North Dock, the Railway Streets, Blandford Place and Caroline Street, Castlereagh and Tempest Road and St John’s Square in Seaham and Wood’s Terrace in Murton.
l Support owners of properties in Church Street, Seaham, to improve the buildings and its appearance, along with better links between the street and Byron Place shopping centre.
l Identify land and an investor for a new hotel in Seaham and develop other bed and breakfast accommodation.
l New homes as part of the relocation and rebuild of Seaham School of Technology on the former Seaham Colliery site.
l Continue to work with the consortium behind the plan for a Centre for Creative Excellence media village in Dawdon, which has stalled because of the credit crisis.
l Continue efforts to redevelop the former Murton Colliery site.
l Support the potential for low carbon and automotive companies along the A19, including at yet-to-be-built Hawthorn Prestige Business Park and other sites in Seaham.
l Possible road improvements between the A19 and B1404 and B1285 because of new homes.
l New routes for walkers through Seaham’s denes.
The proposals will go before Durham County Council’s cabinet on Wednesday.
Coun Neil Foster, cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “The population of the two areas is on the increase and, over the course of the last 10 years, their location and past investment have helped attract new retail facilities, a wider range of housing options and a good supply of business space.
“We now need to further stimulate regeneration activity and to guide investment and development in order to build upon the potential of both communities.”
Coun Alan Napier, the council’s deputy leader and a ward member for Murton, added that the area has seen “substantial physical regeneration during the past 15 years” and the new strategy would help this continue.