Seaham businesses get a look at the town centre's future with launch of £2.25 million regeneration project
Shops and services which will see their town centre transformed in a project to honour its heritage.
Premises owners, tenants, community representatives and others who will see an impact from Seaham Townscape Heritage Project were brought together for its launch.
The event follows the announcement that Durham County Council had secured a £1.6 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund towards the three-year scheme, which will focus on the Church Street area.
Grants will be gifted to property owners or occupiers to carry out repairs and reinstate traditional features, create access to vacant upper floor areas and enhance the town centre’s architecture and also aim to bring empty properties back into use.
During the gathering earlier this week, people found out more about how they can play in the project, details on how to access funds and the training opportunities
Further information was revealed about public spaces due to be upgraded and decluttered.
This includes North Terrace and Terrace Green, the widening of footway at North Terrace, the upgrading or replacement of paving and the return of car parking around Terrace Green.
In South Terrace, there are plans to highlight the exposed historic Rainton Railway Line tracks, better paths, plants and seating, the installation of information panels on the area’s railway history and the relocation of the ‘Brothers’ sculpture.
Within Church Street, there are proposals to make a cultural gateway, improve the paving and landscaping, the resiting of the foundation stone, reinstatement of heritage plaques, removal of a brick planter and more seating and restrictions for vehicles.
Councillor Kevin Shaw, cabinet member for strategic housing and assets, said: “This project represents a significant investment in Seaham and has the potential to enhance the overall look and attractiveness of the town’s high street.
“The tremendous support the community has shown for the project working alongside our dedicated officers has been invaluable and I know residents are looking forward to seeing the work begin.”
As well as the National Lottery funding, the council has committed funding of £370,000 to the project so far, and a further £217,000 investment is expected over the duration of the project from town centre property owners.