Improvements at Ocean Road include a new road layout with traffic calming measures, better positioned parking bays and a new, free car park. New trees with special all year round lighting have been planted and art features in the form of bollards and statues have been installed.
Events including Great North Run and Summer Festival
Food and drink
Extend the visitor season
Increase visitor numbers
Increase visitor spend
Improve overnight accommodation offer
Improve links to the Town Centre/Ocean Road
Improve all weather attractions/activities
Expand the visitor offer with new activities
Encourage day trippers to stay overnight
Attract a different demographic by offering new activities to increase spend
Expand the demographic of visitors to include higher spenders and overnight visitors
About the foreshore
South Shields Foreshore is a fantastic natural asset which contributes significantly to the overall resident and visitor offer. With broad soft sandy beaches and an extensive green hinterland of parks and recreation grounds the area has huge potential and presents a significant opportunity to the Council to build on the current offer which attracts approximately 2 million visitors per year.
A programme of promenade improvements totaling in excess of £9m is ongoing and this investment has seen a dramatic change in the appearance and perceptions of the Foreshore which has in turn given confidence to the private sector to invest in their activities and contribute to the growing visitor offer.
The scope of the offer changes as the visitor travels southwards. The traditional entertainment hub for the Foreshore is focused around Ocean Beach Pleasure Park at the junction with Sea Road which provides indoor and outdoor traditional family seaside entertainment. The new £16million swimming and leisure complex, Haven Point, has greatly enhanced the all-weather family visitor offer. Collectively, the new pool, indoor and outdoor leisure and the high quality parks provide an unrivalled seaside offer on the north east coast. Travelling southwards along the Foreshore the offer becomes less formal and more focused on outdoor activities such as walking and cycling with the coastal path extending southward beyond Souter Lighthouse.
In developing the Foreshore it is essential that new activities help extend the holiday season beyond the summer months. In the longer term an all year round Foreshore offer is our goal. Linking the activities at the Foreshore with Ocean Road and the Town Centre will be essential in securing a longer visitor stay and greater spend. Ultimately, expanding the South Shields offer through increased visitor accommodation will help increase the visitor numbers and length of stay resulting in greater expenditure in the local economy.
While we wish to grow the range of activities at the Foreshore, it is also very important to sustain the excellent offer we currently provide for our residents and visitors. Increasing the offer and remaining competitive are important elements to success but the underlying attraction remains the sea, beaches and parks, all of which are free of charge. These will continue to represent a fantastic day out for families as well as young and older people. In harsh economic times it is important that the Foreshore remains an accessible and affordable attraction which is open to all residents and visitors.
Promenade, Ocean Road and Tyne Lifeboat images are courtesy of See Tyne and Wear Differently.