Seaham Harbour’s North Pier, next to North Dock, has undergone a 15 month refurbishment so it can continue to protect around 100 of the town’s homes, 30 businesses and the marina from coastal erosion.
Cllr Brian Stephens, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “These refurbished coastal defences complement the recent refurbishment of Seaham Marina, making it an attractive place to visit and spend time for both local people and visitors to the county.”
The 15 month refurbishment – a partnership between the council, the Environment Agency and Port of Seaham operators Victoria Group – started in July 2014.
The council’s head of technical services, John Reed, said: “This complex refurbishment project was successfully completed on time and will protect Seaham from coastal erosion for decades to come.
“We would like to thank the marina businesses and regular visitors to the area, including members of Seaham Angling Club, for their patience during this disruption, especially during summer months.”
Seaham Harbour is protected by two outer piers, the North Pier and South Pier, which were built in phases between 1899 and 1906.
The piers’ main function is to prevent storm waves entering the harbour, however the North Pier is known to have been breached at least three times, and would have been at risk of repeated failure had the work not been undertaken.
The Environment Agency’s flood risk manager for the North East, Phil Welton, said: “We’re pleased to have been able to support such an important scheme with grant funding which will see Seaham protected from the North Sea well into the future.
“We’ll continue to work closely with Durham County Council to reduce the risk of flooding and coastal erosion to our communities.”