Homes and businesses will be better protected from flooding when work to restore a historic pier gets under way next week.
Seaham Harbour’s North Pier will undergo vital repairs as part of a £3.4m project to bolster flood defences.
It is hoped that the scheme will safeguard around 100 homes and 30 businesses in the town against potential flood risks and help prevent coastal deterioration by stopping storm waves
Contractors will move on to the site on Monday and work is part of a joint project between Durham County Council, the Environment Agency and port operators, the Victorian Group.
John Reed, Durham County Council’s head of technical services, said: “This project is excellent news for Seaham as these improvements will not only secure the future economic infrastructure of the town but will also play a vital part in protecting it against coastal erosion and other major environmental risks such as flooding.”
The harbour is protected by two outer piers - the North Pier and the South Pier - which were built between 1899 and 1906.
The North Pier is known to have been breached at least three times and there are fears it could further at risk if left untreated.
As well as protecting homes and businesses, the project will also guard the harbour and marina development against flooding as well as helping to support tourism.
The first stage of work is expected to last four months during which time car parking spaces will be limited. Builders will then return to finish off the restoration between April and November 2015.