Major work to revive Central Lower Promenade in Whitley Bay is nearing completion.
The project has already seen the existing sea wall strengthened to protect nearby homes and businesses, while a new rear wall is being built and improvements are being made to the surrounding area.
It is part of North Tyneside Council’s £36million Seafront Master Plan and complements improvements around the Spanish City and at Northern Promenade.
The new sea wall was completed in January and is about 300metres long, 11metres high and is made up of 750 concrete cladding units reinforced with 25,000metres of glass reinforced plastic, 225 concrete copings and 3,000m3 of concrete.
The upper promenade has been transformed – new and improved balustrades are being installed along a 242metre stretch and there is now only around 40metres left to put in.
Rose and sandstone-coloured surfacing has been put down, complemented by new railings painted in the traditional Whitley Bay colours, while Grant’s Clock has also been given a fresh new look.
On the lower promenade – where there is potential to host leisure activities and events – complex strengthening works have been carried out, there is provision for pop-up stalls to set up, subject to demand, and new ramps and steps have been created. A new rear wall is also being built and is nearing completion.
Meanwhile, there are just a few finishing touches to be made before the overall project is complete, including finishing off the railing installation, paving and surfacing, new seating on the upper and lower promenades and new street lighting on the upper section.
It is all due to be finished and reopen to the public in the coming weeks ready for an official opening ceremony planned for the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May.
North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn, and Deputy Mayor Coun Bruce Pickard were joined by project partners from Hartlepool Borough Council, Hall Construction Services, the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water to check on the latest progress ahead of its completion.
Mayor Redfearn said: “I am delighted with the progress being made to transform Central Lower Promenade – this is a really important sea defence scheme and the improvements to the public realm are looking fabulous.
“I know how important it was to local people to have balustrades along this stretch of the coastline. We listened and I know everyone has been really impressed with the new ones we’ve put in and I think they’re fantastic too.
“We’ve all worked really hard to get to this point, and it certainly hasn’t been without its challenges, but this is a great example of working in partnership with another local authority which has a proven track record in successfully completing this type of project.
“I’m also pleased to welcome our other partners involved in the scheme to come and see the changes for themselves – this really is a great example of different organisations working well together.
“North Tyneside is a great place to live, work and visit and this is another exciting development for the coast – I’m really looking forward to seeing it all finished and welcoming residents and visitors back to enjoy the new-look promenade.”
The project is being funded jointly by the council and its partners Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency.
Elsewhere, work to build new homes on the former Avenue Hotel site, on the corner of Park Avenue and Brook Street, is due to start in May, following the completion of the ground stabilisation work.
The contractor, Kier Services will remain on the site in preparation of the work commencing to build 12 new executive homes built next to the iconic Spanish City.
Demolition work at the former Whiskey Bends pub site on the seafront is due to be finished by the end of March ahead of plans for new homes being submitted at a later date.
Coun Pickard added: “We have worked in close partnership to deliver this project and we are seeing major change delivered with the High Point, Whiskey Bends and Avenue sites that will complement the regeneration centred around the Dome and seafront.”