THE £4m revamp of a historic fishing port has won a commendation at a prestigious national awards ceremony.
Seaham Marina North Dock was given the honour at the 56th Annual Civic Trust Awards Ceremony, held in London last night.
This project has regenerated the historic Seaham North Dock, boosting local enterprise, jobs and income and increasing visitor numbers to the town.Civic Trust Awards commendation
The harbour has changed significantly in recent years, with the disappearance of the fishing cobbles, coal drop and rail-mounted steam cranes.
Nowadays, the harbour is a marina which is home to 78 boats, 12 businesses, a café, surf shop and public toilets.
It has been a big boost to tourism in the town, as well as providing much-needed leisure facilities and jobs.
There are plans for a heritage centre and restoration of historic dock buildings, which include the lifeboat house built in 1870 and the pedestrian swing bridge.
The award citation said: “In response to industrial decline in the 1990s a collaboration of public and private sector agencies came together to form the East Durham Task Force.
“Its objective was to arrest decline resulting from the closure of the coal mining industry in the area and to provide the building blocks for recovery.
“As a direct result of this collaboration, this project has regenerated the historic Seaham North Dock, boosting local enterprise, jobs and income and increasing visitor numbers to the town and wider area.
“After a long period of neglect this project is turning the surviving fabric into a key part of the town and giving it a connection with the sea and harbour as a source of joy and pride.”
The North Dock scheme was submitted for an award by Napper Architects, which worked on the project with quantity surveyors Gardiner and Theobald and structural engineer Cundall.
The marina is managed by a not-for-profit community interest company (CIC), which is a not-for-profit organisation.
Recent improvements have included car parking and establishment of a secure boat yard, and there are plans for a heritage-based visitor attraction.