Construction has started on a new mixed-use development in Seaham’s North Terrace.
Durham County Council is supporting the project, which will see an office, restaurant, café, bar, indoor-bowling lanes and residential apartments built on the site.
Planning permission for the development was originally granted in March 2017 but building work was put on hold as a result of the current coronavirus pandemic.
The recent change in Government guidance around construction means that work on the build, which is expected to take 32 weeks plus time for internal fitting, has been allowed to continue.
When complete, the three-storey building will house a basement office and store; a ground floor restaurant, café and bar; and a first-floor cocktail bar with three lane bowling offer; as well as five residential apartments across its second and third floors.
The new businesses, which are being supported by the council’s Towns and Villages Regeneration Programme, will complement the existing retail offer in the town, which is becoming an increasingly popular coastal destination.
Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The new development will see a diverse range of uses created on the site continuing the transformation for Seaham, to a town that supports both the needs of the local population and serves as visitor destination.”
Cllr Kevin Shaw, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for strategic housing and assets, said: “We are delighted to see this new development commence which further demonstrates our commitment to our businesses and community even in these unprecedented times.
“This has been a long time in the making but through the dedication of our community economic development team we continue to deliver on our shared vision of improvements to this important area of Seaham as I’m sure our residents will agree.”
Seaham business owner David Gill , who owns the site, said: “We are extremely pleased that we have now been able to make a start on the development and are looking forward to the future. I am grateful for Durham County Council’s grant support and guidance throughout the development phase of this much awaited project.”
Seaham’s North Terrace is also due to benefit from reinstated car parking provision, as well as works to widen the footpath, which will make extra space for the street’s al-fresco dining offer. These additional works form part of the exciting Seaham Townscape Heritage Project, which will use £1.6million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, to regenerate the town, working to make four of its key public spaces more attractive and accessible.
The three-year project, which is being delivered and managed by Durham County Council, focusses on the heritage-led regeneration of historic properties in Church Street, by offering grants to property owners/occupiers to reverse previous architectural changes that have been detrimental to the town’s character.
Further information on the Townscape Heritage Project is available at http://www.durham.gov.uk/seahamtownscape