Scheme to Improve Access to Bay Gets Underway

Posted by: Press team on 07 October 2020 15:32

A project to improve and preserve access to a South Tyneside coastal gem is underway.

Demolition work has begun on the disused former Marsden Lifeguard Station, canoe store and lower section of Redwell Steps at Marsden Bay, as part of a £440,000 partnership project between South Tyneside Council and the National Trust.

The old lifeguard and canoe store buildings have been closed for many years. Over this time, their condition has deteriorated with the structures at an increasing risk of collapse.

Though Redwell steps have been repaired previously, the concrete remains susceptible to further and ongoing natural coastal erosion. The scheme involves rebuilding the steps to provide a new safe and more sustainable access to the beach.

Councillor Joan Atkinson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council said: "Marsden Bay is a real gem, much-loved by residents and visitors alike for its dramatic cliffs and stunning rock formations. The area is also known as home to one of England's most important seabird colonies.

"The carefully planned removal of the redundant lifeguard station and canoe store will not only help us to safeguard these species but return this part of the coastline to a more natural environment.

"The lower steps are also particularly vulnerable to coastal erosion so they will be replaced with a more sustainable timber and steel structure. It is important to preserve access to the bay so that people can continue to enjoy this beautiful stretch of our coastline in the future."

Planning permission was granted last year with demolition work scheduled to avoid disturbing birds during the breeding and nesting seasons. Construction work on the new steps is planned for next year.

Access to Marsden Bay from Camel Island and the Marsden Grotto is being maintained during the course of the works, with visitors to the bay advised to check tide times and follow advice on staying safe at the seaside.

Eric Wilton, General Manager for the National Trust Souter Lighthouse and the Leas said: "We're delighted to be working with South Tyneside Council to improve and secure long-term access to Marsden Bay.

"Now more so than ever, access to nature and outdoor spaces is important for the health and wellbeing of communities, and we're committed to ensuring residents and visitors to South Tyneside are able to enjoy the benefits of this special landscape for years to come."

Earlier this year, partners secured £100,000 towards the project costs, thanks to a National Lottery Heritage Fund award of £2.78m to the Tyne to Tees, Shores and Seas Partnership Scheme.

The £5m Tyne to Tees, Shores and Seas Partnership Scheme - also known as Seascapes - is the only scheme of its kind to be supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund. Seascapes will deliver 23 community projects, both on-shore and beneath the sea - from South Shields to Teesmouth over the next four years.

Last modified: 05 October 2021 15:33