New £5M Littlehaven beach transformation complete

14 February 2014

A £5m regeneration scheme to transform Littlehaven Beach in South Shields is now complete after South Tyneside Council were officially handed over the project by contractors Galliford Try Civil Engineering.

Over the past nine-months, the scheme has seen the creation of a new promenade and sea defences along a 500-metre stretch between the South Groyne and the River Tyne′s South Pier.

The ambitious promenade and seawall project is part of the Council’s vision to redevelop the town, which has recently included the introduction of the £16m swimming pool and leisure complex, Haven Point and the £2.3m Harton Quays Park.

All of the regeneration schemes are part of the Council’s, five to ten year vision, South Shields 365 masterplan that aims to make South Shields an exciting destination every day of the year.

The impressive renovation work to Littlehaven Beach will enable residents and visitors to enjoy the beautiful coastline setting in exciting new ways; as one of the important additions has been to widen the existing beach by 50-metres giving more sand to explore.

The seafront lighting will mean that visitors can enjoy the new promenade area, day and night, for most of the year.

The promenade and seawall project also commissioned two bespoke public artworks by local artist, Stephen Broadbent. The distinct pieces – Eye and Sail - have been installed on site both of which have a relationship to one another and the site itself. The artist visited the location and developed a theme of ‘seeing and looking’; recognising the importance of the positioning and the commanding views it gives over the River Mouth and North East Coast (more information about the artwork can be found in the attached specification sheet).

The project has received funding from South Tyneside Council, the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water.

Councillor Audrey McMillan, Vice-Chair of the Foreshore Steering Group for South Tyneside Council, said: “The investment and improvements being made to the coastline at Littlehaven will provide a wealth of opportunities for the Borough. It will add new dimensions for tourism and also give vital protection to homes and businesses from the risk of flooding.

“Littlehaven Beach is a lovely place to visit and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It’s a wonderful asset for South Tyneside and an important part of the town’s regeneration plans that will attract more people and investors to the Borough.”

The realigned sea wall is designed to take account of the latest projections for the impact of climate change and has used materials recycled from the old flood defences as far as possible. Additional car parking has also been provided to offset the loss of spaces caused by the changes.

To learn further information about the complete renovation process please visit www.southtyneside.info/littlehaven. It provides details about the step-by-step procedure that was delivered by the project team.

The Littlehaven promenade and seawall’s team included Galliford Try Civil Engineering (contractors), Royal HaskoningDHV (engineering consultants) and Oobe (landscape).

Bob Gibbon, Regional Director for Galliford Try Civil Engineering: "We were grateful for the opportunity to work with South Tyneside Council for the first time and have enjoyed the experience. Building the new sea defences has been a challenging and satisfying project that has resulted in major improvements to Littlehaven which will bring benefit to the community for many decades to come."

Alan Cadas, Operations Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “We are really pleased to see the Littlehaven works complete. The new sea wall will significantly improve protection against the risk of coastal flooding, replacing old defences that were deteriorating in places.”

Mike Madine, Northumbrian Water’s Sewerage and New Development Manager, said: “We are committed to investing £150m in flood alleviation schemes across the North East between 2010 and 2015, and we were delighted to support the Littlehaven Beach project. This is a fine example of partnership working on a project that will bring many benefits to the people of South Tyneside and the whole region.”

There will be an official opening of the Littlehaven promenade and seawall in April 2014.

Please note: A support specification document has been produced to accompany this press release. It provides a great deal of detailed information about the project.

Support photography: We have a selection of support images to accompany this item including Councillor Audrey McMillan, Vice-Chair of the Foreshore Steering Group pictured with Stephen Broadbent’s ‘Eye’ public artwork.

Garry Smith - Communications Officer (Press & PR) - South Tyneside Council - 0191 424 7384
garry.smith@southtyneside.gov.uk

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