Development funding has been allocated as part of a project to refurbish the pier at Seahouses Harbour ahead of a bid for the scheme’s costs.
Northumberland County Council has approved up to £175,000 to underwrite the costs of developing a design for what is known as the Seahouses Main Pier Rehabilitation Scheme.
A report to a recent meeting of the council’s cabinet explained that in December 2016, Defra opened a new call for projects worth £6million across the North East LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) area to be supported by the European Regional Development Fund, seeking projects that find innovative and new ways to reduce flood and erosion risk to economic infrastructure and businesses.
Council officers have been working with the Environment Agency to identify priority projects which may be eligible, one of which is Seahouses Harbour.
Condition assessments of the pier have identified that the structure is deteriorating at an increasing rate which cannot be slowed with regular maintenance alone.
Options have been evaluated and a sustainable solution identified, which involves filling voids in the core of the structure and encasing the pier at a cost of approximately £4.5million.
The scheme will benefit 139 residential properties and 26 business premises.
In addition, the scheme ‘will safeguard the local economy which relies on the unique tourism-related benefits of the Farnes, estimated to be worth £7million a year’.