Marina awash with joy as water sports centre scoops award

Paddle boarding is one of the activities run by Seaham Marina's new watersports centre.
Paddle boarding is one of the activities run by Seaham Marina's new watersports centre.

A water sports centre which has played a part in transforming an industrial dock into a tourist hotspot has become an award winner.

The Seaham Harbour Marina venue picked up the Chair’s Award at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) North East Awards for Planning Excellence.

Rear left to right, Councillor Carl Marshall with Seaham Marina team members Peter Coe, Lisa Simpson, Colin Burn and Lee Coils and front Councillor Kevin Shaw.

Rear left to right, Councillor Carl Marshall with Seaham Marina team members Peter Coe, Lisa Simpson, Colin Burn and Lee Coils and front Councillor Kevin Shaw.

The awards, which took place on Friday in Newcastle, celebrate outstanding projects that demonstrate the power of planning.

Councillor Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the water sports centre has received such high profile recognition, particularly so soon after building work finished.

“We have worked hard to create a building that not only fits in with the rest of the marina development but that also provides services that complement the existing retail and leisure offer.

“We are confident that the water sports centre will attract more people to the area and further enhance Seaham’s growing reputation as a visitor destination.”

We are absolutely thrilled that the water sports centre has received such high profile recognition, particularly so soon after building work finished.

Councillor Carl Marshall

The centre, which has only been operating since July, was paid for by a grant from the Coastal Communities Fund and match-funding from Durham County Council, Seaham Harbour Community Interest Company and Sport England.

It provides a changing facility, showers, kayak store and office space as well as offering a programme of courses in kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding and other activities.

East Coast Fitness is also based at the centre.

The marina itself won RICS and RIBA North East awards in 2014 and a commendation in the North East RTPI Awards in 2014.

Seaham Marina as been created in the North Dock in the town.

Seaham Marina as been created in the North Dock in the town.

The centre’s activities can be followed via the Seaham Harbour Marina Activity Centre Facebook page.

New watersports centre at Seaham Marina is welcoming visitors.

New watersports centre at Seaham Marina is welcoming visitors.