Grand designs to transform part of Whitley Bay’s seafront have been unveiled.
The blueprint for the Northern Promenade has drawn on the town’s history to create new surfacing, seating, shelters and exercise facilities to help attract visitors and businesses.
The plans have been drawn up by North Tyneside Council – as part of its £36million Seafront Masterplan, influenced by feedback at public consultation events.
Under the plan, which has also been developed in partnership with Kier and in conjunction with Whitley Bay Big Local, the Northern Promenade will become a hub of activity connected by interactive spaces which form The Northern Promenade Walk.
The plan also includes opportunities to feature public art.
Cost-effective and durable materials and street furniture will be used and new lighting included at key locations.
Wildflowers will be planted on sculpted embankments above the promenade.
The colours and materials used for surfacing – Red Tarmac, granite, timber and exposed aggregate concrete – are inspired by the historic importance of the seafront and will change as people walk along the promenade.
New shelters will feature fully sustainable lighting and will be built from materials which fit in with the surrounding area.
Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “I am delighted to see these vibrant and exciting designs for the seafront, which I’m sure will encourage even more families and visitors to the area to enjoy the brilliant new outdoor facilities all year round.
“We have worked closely with Whitley Bay Big Local to make sure there is something for everyone and the seafront is an attractive, safe, clean and accessible destination. We have also worked hard to ensure the plans are respectful to the historic importance of the area and the stunning views.
“We are a listening council and we will continue to engage with local people, businesses and our partners so everyone is kept informed about these fantastic proposals.”
Chief executive Patrick Melia added: “This is an exciting time for the coast with the restoration of the Spanish City Dome site getting underway soon, our recent successful Stage One funding bid to restore St Mary’s Lighthouse and the imminent return of the seaside land train.
“The designs for the Northern Promenade will really complement these developments and help secure the future of the whole area so it is somewhere people can be proud to live, work and visit.”
The plan includes designs for different areas along the promenade – Watts Slope, Panama Dip, Rendezvous and Brierdene.
At Watts Slope work to widen the promenade to create a meeting area where people can sit and talk and children can play is currently ongoing.
Once complete, the area will feature an extended new timber decking area as well as refurbished toilets at Watts Slope, which are due to open at the end of July.
It will also be a key point for a potential land train to stop to encourage more visitors to get off and explore.
Panama Dip, where there is already a popular skate park, is earmarked to become home to a hive of activities and feature outdoor gym equipment, a pick-up and drop-off area for the land train, and bespoke seating, lighting and artwork.
Further along, Dukes Walk is envisaged to once again become a central meeting place and gateway to the beach.
Coronation Fountain is planned to be restored to colours authentic to Whitley Bay’s history and there will be improvements to the surrounding landscape.
The plans for the northern end of the promenade at Brierdene involve installing red Tarmac paving along the promenade, new shelters and a timber decking feature seating area.
The designs, as well as information about other projects included in the Master Plan, will be on display during an engagement event at the Rendezvous Cafe on June 28, between 9am and 11am.