Works are under way to prepare for a scheme to give a stretch of the seafront at Whitley Bay a new lease of life.
Vital refurbishment works will be carried out at the Central Lower Promenade as part of North Tyneside Council’s project to strengthen and safeguard sea defences.
The scheme involves building a new rear wall and strengthening the existing sea wall on the lower promenade, as well as improvements to the public realm.
The current structure is around 100-years-old and is reaching the end of its serviceable life.
Planning permission was granted in February and enabling works are now underway ahead of the main construction scheme.
A site compound has been set up while a temporary access ramp at the Plaza end of the promenade will be created for heavy machinery to access the lower level.
The entire lower section will then be filled with liquid concrete to provide a solid structure ready for the main sea wall works, which are expected to start in April.
Refurbishment of the remaining structure will follow and all construction work is expected to be complete by winter.
Members of the public are advised that part of the footpath between Central Lower Promenade and the Spanish City Plaza has had to be temporarily closed and other closures will be in effect during the works.
Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “We have faced some challenges in getting to this point but we’re here now and I’m absolutely delighted to see work happening on the promenade.
“The design looks fantastic and a lot of hard work has been going on behind the scenes. I’m sure the finished product will truly revitalise the area and this is yet another example of the positive changes taking place along the coast we’re seeing now.”
As well as the sea wall scheme, the overall design also includes creating an open space on the lower walkway.
There will also be a commercial opportunity for ‘pop-up’ style stalls/units on the lower section while the wide upper footway will be refurbished and enhanced.
The design includes the Mayor’s commitment to replacing the balustrades and will complement the improvement works taking place at the Northern Promenade.
The project is being funded jointly by the council and partners Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency and will be carried out in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council.