The management structure of the Heritage Coast Partnership is a modification of the successful Turning the Tide on the Durham Coast Partnership with recommendations resulting from a formal governance review in 2003. The successful multi-agency partnership of Turning the Tide will be continued with the further addition of two new partners, Sunderland City Council and Hartlepool Borough Council, the partnership is strengthened to sixteen members. The Heritage Coast is tasked with retaining and strengthening this focus and building on the level of involvement of local communities in future decision-making.
The Partnership comprises representatives of:
- Local community interests (Blackhall Regeneration Partnership, Horden Regeneration Partnership, Easington Regeneration Partnership, Ryhope Community Association, Seaham Town Council) (5 in total).
- The three local authorities (Durham County Council, Hartlepool Borough Council and Sunderland City Council) (3 elected members).
- Key statutory agencies (Environment Agency and Natural England).
- The National Trust, Durham Wildlife Trust, Groundwork and Northumbrian Water as key land owners/managers on the coast (4 in total).
In addition, to support community involvement:
- A forum/conference is held annually to provide an opportunity for a wider range of local and community interests to input into the management of the area. Previously elected onto the Steering Group have been representatives from the North Eastern Sea Fisheries Committee, a Volunteer Warden for the area’s Little Tern colony at Crimdon and a representative from East Durham Artists Network (EDAN). Elected onto the steering group this year is a Representative from Easington Parish Council and a member of Durham Voles (volunteers for the local environment)/Chairman of the National Association of Voluntary Countryside Wardens.
- Time-limited, small, specialist working groups may be formed as and when necessary to assist with or provide guidance upon specific projects and initiatives. These would provide the opportunity for a wide range of individuals and interest groups to become actively involved in the management of the coast.
- The individual members of the Partnership will be encouraged to take on a wider role which will go beyond the interests of the organisation that they represent.