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Seaham Townscape Heritage Project

Seaham Townscape Heritage Project aims to restore buildings and improve spaces within Seaham Conservation area, to create attractive, vibrant and interesting places for people to live, work and visit.


Seaham Conservation Area was designated in 1997 in recognition of its special historic and architectural character. However, the area is now classed as 'at risk' by Historic England because of the following:

  • loss of historic features on buildings
  • poor quality shop fronts
  • general lack of property maintenance
  • empty buildings
  • advertisements and signs

Earlier this year, we we successfully completed the first stage of our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). We were awarded a development grant to employ a project officer and consultants to develop more detailed proposals for the second-round submission in Spring 2019. 

Project proposals

Building improvement grants

Building improvement grants to be available for commercial property owners and tenants to enable them to bring vacant properties and underused floor space back into use. This could include grants to prevent further loss of historic detail and character and to reverse the effect of previous inappropriate changes and neglect to the town's historic buildings.

Potential works may include authentic restoration and reinstatement of architectural features including traditional shopfronts, historic window joinery, roof repairs, masonry repairs, structural timber repairs, external joinery, signage and decoration.

Improvements to paving and public spaces (public realm improvements)

Public realm improvements are proposed for the following:

  • Improving paving public spaces around South Street and Church Street, to improve access between the main shopping centre, car parks and the sea front
  • Improving access to, and the area around the preserved Rainton and Seaham Railway lines (South Crescent)
  • Developing a historic / cultural quarter at the seafront end of Church Street
  • Improving North Terrace / Terrace Green, where we've already completed building restoration

    During the development phase we will investigate the potential to widen footpaths to improve pedestrian access and to facilitate additional alfresco dining for the businesses operating in the area.

    Training and events

    Community led activities and events

    We are proposing activities and events with a community focus to engage local people and raise awareness of Seaham's historic built environment. See Get involved with Seaham Townscape Heritage Project for more information.

    Visual display / window dressing

    This course will help business owners to understand key principles of great visual merchandising and window dressing (to complement building improvements).

    Heritage construction training

    This project will support the provision of courses to increase the number of people with skills in heritage construction and conservation. 

    Heritage public awareness training

    We will raise awareness of the significance of the Seaham Conservation Area, its history, architecture and change over time. We will continue to inform the community about how they can protect Seaham's heritage.

    Conservation Area Appraisal update

    The consultation closed on Thursday 28 March 2019.

    Development and adoption of a management plan

    We will instigate an effective plan for the long-term management, monitoring and maintenance of the town's historic assets, ensuring positive and effective management of change.

    Contact us
    Seaham Townscape Heritage Project
    Project officer
    03000 262 007
    Our address is:
    • Regeneration and Local Services
    • Green Lane
    • Spennymoor
    • County Durham
    • United Kingdom
    • DL16 6JQ
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