North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor and Deputy Mayor were joined by other delegates to officially declare Whitley Bay’s new-look Central Lower Promenade open.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on the promenade, which has undergone a major transformation as part of North Tyneside Council’s £36m Seafront Master Plan.
Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE and Deputy Mayor Cllr Bruce Pickard, along with the council’s Chief Executive Patrick Melia, were joined by representatives from project partners.
Norma said: “This is another huge step forward in our on-going work to breathe new life into the coastline at Whitley Bay.
“Our work at Central Lower Promenade has proved complex and presented different challenges along the way but the end result not only looks fantastic and has really revitalised the area but will also protect nearby homes and businesses from the threat of coastal erosion.
“It has been lovely to see families and visitors enjoying the new promenade and its bright new-look also fits in wonderfully alongside the other changes taking place at the Spanish City, Northern Promenade and all the way along to St Mary’s Lighthouse.”
Cllr Pickard added: “This has been a great example of the council working in partnership with other organisations and using their skills and expertise to create a fantastic end product that we can all be proud of.
“Everyone who has worked on the scheme has done an excellent job and we are delivering real change along the coast.”
The complex project has involved strengthening the existing sea wall at beach level to protect nearby homes and businesses, construction of a new rear wall on the lower promenade and a series of improvements to the public realm.
On the upper promenade, the footpath has been returned to its original width and attractive new rose and sandstone coloured surfacing has been laid.
Custom-made balustrades, which cover around 240m in length and are compliant with modern safety standards, have been installed, in line with the Mayor’s commitment to replace the previous ones, and Grant’s Clock has been repainted in the traditional eye-catching Whitley Bay colours of blue and green.
The lower promenade has been transformed with new ‘buff’ coloured surfacing, complex strengthening works have been carried out and new ramps and steps have been created. There is also space for pop-up stalls to set up, subject to demand.
Railings, also in the Whitley Bay colours and matching those further along the coast towards St Mary’s Island, have been installed throughout. New bins, benches and street lights have also been added.
It has been carried out in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council, Hall Construction Services, the Environment Agency (EA) and Northumbrian Water (NWL).
A time-lapse film showing different stages of the project from start to finish can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/SVZldIP2nuY