Seahouses Harbour

Pier project scoops national excellence award

The team behind the £3m restoration of Seahouses Pier have scooped a national engineering award. 
The project, led by Northumberland County Council in partnership with Balfour Beatty and Royal Haskoning DHV, and fully funded by the Environment Agency, involved the whole of the main pier being ‘re-skinned’ to ensure it remained in good condition for years to come. 
The building works were done in an extremely sensitive marine conservation area and every effort was made to prevent or minimise any adverse environmental impacts. 
The completed restoration protects 165 properties (26 businesses and 139 homes) from coastal erosion and sea flooding risk.  
It also sustains the harbour, safeguarding jobs and income associated with the fishing and tourist industries, while preventing the need to relocate the RNLI lifeboat station. 
The scheme has now been declared “Civils Project of the Year” in the prestigious Constructing Excellence Awards, beating off other schemes from across the country. 
The Constructing Excellence Awards are held annually and are designed to showcase and reward achievement for organisations and individuals successfully driving excellence in the industry. 
Councillor Nick Oliver, the council’s representative on the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, said: “This was an excellent example of partnership working on a key sea defence infrastructure which protects homes and businesses in the harbour area from coastal erosion and flood risk from the sea. 
We’re delighted the project has scooped this top award, ahead of some other impressive schemes around the country. It’s vital that major projects like this are carried out to protect local communities for generations to come. 
Councillor Glen Sanderson, council leader and cabinet member for environment and local services, said: “This award recognises the skills of everyone involved in this extremely technical scheme in what was a very environmentally sensitive and physical challenging working environment.  
It also highlights the excellent community engagement work undertaken by the staff and contractors involved in planning and delivering the scheme, who worked very closely with the local community, fishing, boat trip and tourism businesses, so that they were all able to safely use the harbour with minimum disruption throughout the whole construction project. Congratulations to all involved.” 
Leila Huntington, the Environment Agency’s Flood Risk Manager for the North East, said: "We are proud and delighted to hear the exciting news about the innovative restoration works in Seahouses being recognised by the construction industry and receiving national plaudits.   
“It represents how a collaborative project of this calibre can benefit the local residents of Seahouses, the wider Northumberland community and help to boost the local economy with the main pier providing better protection to the area for years to come. 
“It has been refreshing to see the environment remain at the heart of this project, from design and planning through to construction. The project forms part of Government’s £2.6 billion programme to reduce flood risk to 300,000 properties by April 2021, and was allocated through the Northumbria Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.” 
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