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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

In June 2018, we successfully completed the first stage of our application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund's Townscape Heritage programme (aimed at regenerating and transforming conservation areas in need of investment). We were awarded a development grant to employ a project officer and consultants to develop more detailed proposals for the second-stage application which was submitted in May 2019. A decision on our application is expected in Autumn 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 is a key element which contributes to the character of Seaham Conservation. Ensuring that the public realm is cohesive and appealing is integral to establishing a town that is functional, safe, and attractive to residents and visitors.  The proposed works will:

  • Enable us to take proactive steps towards improving public spaces in and around South Crescent and Church Street; 
  • Improve access and pedestrian flow between the main shopping centre, car parks and the sea front;
  • Create a focal point at the preserved Rainton and Seaham Railway lines in South Crescent
  • Create a vibrant, creative and cultural gateway at the eastern end of Church Street
  • Improve North Terrace/Terrace Green, widening the footway to create an attractive and under friendly space 

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.

Update of Seaham Conservation Area Appraisal and Development and adoption of a management plan

The Seaham Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan was revised during the Development Phase and was formally adopted by Durham County Council on Monday 13 May 2019. 


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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