Seahouses pier fit for the future following £3m restoration project

Seahouses pier has been given a new lease of life following a £3million restoration project.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 6:00 am
Seahouses pier. Picture by Jane Coltman

The project, led by Northumberland County Council and fully funded by the Environment Agency, has seen see the whole pier ‘re-skinned’.

Before the work was carried out, it was described as being in poor condition with only 10-15 years of usable life left in it.

Paul Jones, the council’s director of local services, said: " This was an excellent example of partnership working on a key sea defence infrastructure which protects homes and businesses in the harbour area from flood and erosion risk from the sea.

Councillors and officers with contractors and Leila Huntington from the Environment Agency at Seahouses at the start of the project.

“It was a major engineering project, involving the whole pier being “re-skinned” to ensure it remains in good condition for years to come.

“The building works were carried out in an extremely sensitive marine conservation area and every effort was made to prevent or minimise any adverse environmental impacts, with all contractors being closely monitored. We also liaised closely with the many businesses that operate from the harbour so that they could continue to operate safely with as little disruption as possible.

“We're also pleased that despite this being a very challenging working environment, we have been able to work very closely with all harbour users to maintain safe access arrangements throughout the duration of the construction work, enabling the numerous fishing and tourism boats based at the harbour to operate 'business as usual’."

The Environment Agency has calculated that the sea defences help protect businesses and 139 homes in Seahouses from the risk of flooding from the sea.

North Sunderland Harbour Commission, in a post on its website, added: ‘If you've been down the harbour in the past week, or indeed just checked out our cameras, you'll notice just how big the main pier looks; now that Balfour Beattie and their teams have begun to pack up.

‘The £3million renovation project has been a challenging task, with environmental factors causing some delays, but the bulk of the work is now completed and only a few loose ends are left to tidy up.

‘Overall, despite the obvious disruption a job of this size can cause, the project has been handled sensitively and expertly by all involved.’