Work is now underway on the restoration of the main pier in Seahouses in a multi-million pound improvement project.
The £3m scheme, which is being led by Northumberland County Council and fully funded by the Environment Agency, will see the whole pier “re-skinned” over the coming months, ensuring it remains in good condition for years to come.
Exposure to the elements and constant buffeting by the sea means the current pier is in poor condition – with only 10-15 years of usable life left in it.
The building works are being done in an extremely sensitive marine conservation area and every effort is being made to prevent or minimise any adverse environmental impacts, with all contractors being closely monitored.
For most users, the work will mean largely business as usual. While parking isn’t permitted on the pier during the work, the numerous fishing and tourism boats which are based at the harbour are still able to operate.
Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, said: “This is an excellent example of partnership working on a key sea defence infrastructure which protects homes and businesses in the harbour area from flood risk from the sea.
“The pier is also of key importance to the local economy, home to numerous businesses and a draw for the thousands of visitors who come to Seahouses throughout the year.
“The recent spell of good weather means that work is progressing well and should be all complete by the autumn.”
Leila Huntington, the Environment Agency’s Flood Risk Manager for the North East, said: “It is fantastic to see that work has started on this important sea defence, which better protects businesses and 139 homes in Seahouses from the risk of flooding from the sea.
“We’ve been working closely with Northumberland County Council and it’s great to see the works on site progressing well.
“Once complete the scheme will ensure the pier continues to provide protection to the town and local economy into the future. Across the county there is approximately £10.5m of Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA) being invested in Northumberland between 2015 and 2021, which will help to protect around 2,000 homes.”
Seahouses Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson added: “I know how popular Seahouses pier is and we’re doing all we can to minimise disruption throughout this vital work.
“Once complete the pier will be in good shape for generations to come – benefiting homes, visitors and the local community.”
To check the flood risk in your local area and sign up to receive free flood warnings go to www.gov.uk/flood