Twenty five years ago we worked with Drivers Jonas on producing the Seaham Regeneration Strategy for Easington District Council. The project was a challenge as, it is fair to say, the town was seriously run down and in desperate need of some new initiatives.
Our role in the project team was to develop a regeneration masterplan for Seaham Harbour. Key to the task was the derelict North Dock which had laid unused and empty, except for an increasing depth of silt, for many years. Our masterplan involved dredging the dock, repairing the walls, installing a gate to retain water at low tide and providing pontoon berths for 80 yachts. Associated works consisted of repair and recommissioning of buildings around the dock and the provision of new yacht club and ancillary buildings to support water sports activities.
The plan gathered dust for a number of years but eventually the £10m budget was raised by Durham County Council and Seaham Marina opened for business in 2013. Since then additional facilities have been added with the latest being the marina’s Watersports Activity Centre, designed by Napper Architects, which yesterday won the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Excellence in Planning for Health and Wellbeing Award. This latest award follows on from the Civic Trust Award that the harbour’s regeneration was given in 2016.
Even though it has been a long time in development, we are honoured that our masterplan for Seaham’s charming harbour has finally come to fruition and is gaining recognition.