A CAMPAIGNER who helped lead the regeneration of a dock to transform it into a marina has been hailed as it was officially opened last night.
A plaque which recognises the work of Norman Conn was unveiled as part of celebrations at Seaham and offers him special thanks, adding: “without his endeavours this marina would not have been possible.”
The £3.2million development has seen pontoons for 77 boats installed in the North Dock, an 11-unit business centre set up and a derelict building turned into a centre run by the East Durham Heritage Group, with the George Elmy lifeboat now on show.
In addition to the dedication to Norman, the plaque also records the opening ceremony was led by Councillor Pauline Charlton, chairman of Durham County Council, which worked on the scheme alongside Seaham Harbour Dock Company.
Lisa Jordan, marina manager, said: “We’re delighted to be able to recognise the contribution of Norman in the commemorative plaque.
“Norman’s tireless work has not only ensured that public access was returned to the area but also in supporting the development where he now manages all of the marine-related operations.
“Norman was instrumental in establishing and leading the Seaham Harbour Access Rights Committee and without the efforts of Norman and the support of the Friends of North Dock Seaham, none of us would be able to enjoy the marina as it is today.”
The celebrations also included performances by bands as part of the Brass festival.
Lisa added: “It’s great to see the Marina officially opened.
“It’s already proving very popular with visitors with yachts from as far away as Germany being impressed with the facilities and friendly atmosphere of the marina.
“The Lookout Café is trading well and beyond its original projections.”
A host of clubs have also set up in the dock.