WORK to repair damage to a Northumberland harbour from flooding three years ago can finally begin after funds were secured.
Bosses of the structure at Amble have been promised around £225,000 by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to repair the damage it suffered in the floods of September 2008.
Part of the harbour wall was gouged out by water pressure and cracks appeared at ground level.
An area of the structure was sealed off, and remains so, while the town’s pier was closed on health and safety grounds, and an ice plant used by fishermen had to be moved.
The damage meant people could not enjoy walks on the pier and that boats could not be tied alongside the affected area.
Stabilisation works were carried out but Warkworth Harbour Commissioners, which manage the structure, were then dealt a major blow when their insurers refused to cover the cost of repairs.
Applications were made for Defra, the Environment Agency and European Fisheries Fund for money, but these were unsuccessful.
The pier eventually re-opened following completion of work to create what was seen as a temporary bridge and steps, while the ice plant returned in a new location.
Consultant GVA Grimley was then appointed to produce a feasibility study on solutions, with a view to informing further funding bids.
Recently, commissioners lodged a bid for funding with the MMO, agreeing to pay the other half of the total repair bill – expected to be around £550,000 – themselves from income from harbour users. Now they have been told the funding bid has been successful.
The funding will be used to replace a 20-metre section of wall at what is known as Broomhill Quay, with some underwater work required.
The work has been put out to tender with some quotes having been received from potential contractors, before one is appointed.
Commissioners are hoping that the repairs can begin early in the new year and take two to three months.
A spokesman said last night: “We have been waiting for a long time and it is quite a big thing for the commissioners and for the community itself.”
The work will allow the cordoned off section to be reopened, an area he described as “untidy and a bit derelict.” The spokesman added: “It will improve the aspect of the whole harbour.”
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