Wave of excitement as work begins on new watersports centre for Seaham

Seaham Marina's Peter Coe with Easington MP Grahame Morris on the site of the new water sports centre.
Seaham Marina's Peter Coe with Easington MP Grahame Morris on the site of the new water sports centre.
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A marina is awash with efforts to complete a new water sports activity centre which will give thrill seekers a chance to get their kicks.

The complex will run a range of sports including canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding sailing and wet and dry rowing, with funding to also see cycling, running, triathlon and orienteering sessions run from the hub.

An artist's impression of how the new centre in Seaham Marina could look.

An artist's impression of how the new centre in Seaham Marina could look.

It will also reach out to 14 to 25-year-olds to get them more involved on activities along the Durham Heritage Coast.

The complex is being built in Seaham’s North Dock marina development and is part of a project which also includes extra berths and new facilities for boat owners, better beach access and environmental works.

It is due to be completed in the autumn and joins The Waterside, a business centre home to cafes, a gift shop and a wool store, and East Durham Heritage Centre.

It will be managed by a Community Interest Company, which has recruited Colin Burn as its the watersports development officer.

Following months of planning to make sure the new centre will be a fantastic resource for the community it’s great to see work starting.

Colin Burn, watersports development officer

He said: “Following months of planning to make sure the new centre will be a fantastic resource for the community it’s great to see work starting.

“I’m looking forward to being able to offer access to watersports that people may not have had otherwise, as we’ll be able to provide instruction and equipment for individuals and families, as well as schools and community groups.”

The marina is already offering a variety of taster sessions throughout the summer months to give people the opportunity to try what will be on offer once the centre is complete.

A kayak club has already been established at the site and uses the still water of the inner harbour to the more challenging water of the outer harbour.

How the finished water sports activity centre could look in Seaham Marina.

How the finished water sports activity centre could look in Seaham Marina.

Lisa Simpson, marina manager, said “Everyone here at the marina is thrilled to see work of the activity centre commence and we’re looking forward to the end result.

“Visitors can come down over the summer to explore the site, and have a great day out here.”

Easington MP Grahame Morris has visited the activity centre site as work begins.

He said: “After the success of London 2012 and now the Rio Olympics, this is an ideal opportunity to build an Olympic legacy in East Durham.”

An artist's impression of the new water sports activity centre in Seaham Marina.

An artist's impression of the new water sports activity centre in Seaham Marina.

The development of the centre is being funded and supported by Sport England, Durham County Council, Seaham Harbour Dock Company, the Coastal Communities Fund and County Durham Sport.

The Coastal Community funding is also being invested in other areas, including the extension of the pontoon system and the development of a boat crane to enable maintenance and repairs for larger vessels amongst other improvements.

More details on the centre can be found via http://www.seahammarina.com/.