The Heritage Coast Partnership is thrilled to announce that we have been successful in securing £5m funding for the coastline between the rivers Tyne and Tees. We are the lead partner on Seascape – the UK’s first marine Landscape Partnership scheme. We’ll be managing the Seascape scheme over the next 6 years on behalf of the Seascape Partnership, a group of local, regional and national partners that work in the coastal, marine and heritage sectors.
We submitted a funding application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) at the end of May 2017 asking for £2.9m to make our vision for this special coastline a reality. In November 2017, we found out that we had been successful! This £2.9m of HLF funding, together with £2m of partnership funding, will allow us to fully develop and deliver a scheme of over 30 projects set to benefit our coastal heritage, the marine environment and local communities.
What is Seascape?
Seascape is the UK’s first Landscape Partnership scheme. We’re calling it Seascape for short, but the full title is Tyne to Tees, Shores and Seas – Seascape Partnership.
The scheme focuses on the undervalued Magnesian Limestone seascape between the rivers Tyne and Tees in North East England. This coastline is characterised by its unique geology and is largely designated as Heritage Coast; quite often overlooked as perceptions are blighted by an industrial past. This seascape is rich in maritime, wartime and natural heritage; though much of this is out of sight, held only in memory or hidden beneath the waves, and just waiting to be discovered.
Through the 30 projects, the Seascape scheme will improve access to beaches, explore the shipwrecks and habitats beneath the waves, improve biological recording through citizen science, construct a coastal conservation centre, tackle marine litter and create opportunities for local people and visitors to enjoy being on and in the sea. The detail of these projects will be finalised through the funded development phase, due to commence in January 2018. The scheme aims to take a community-led approach from the beginning, engaging coastal communities and sea users throughout development and delivery.
Who are the Seascape Partnership?
We are a partnership of local, regional and national organisations working in the coastal, marine and heritage sectors that have come together to better protect and celebrate the unique but all too often overlooked coastline between the rivers Tyne and Tees in North East England.
The Heritage Coast Partnership is the lead partner, alongside South Tyneside, Sunderland, Durham and Hartlepool Councils, the National Trust, Northumbrian Water, Durham Wildlife Trust, North East Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, Natural England, Groundwork, Marine Management Organisation, the Environment Agency, East Durham Heritage Group, Donnison School and Durham and Newcastle Universities.
The Partnership would welcome community representation, please get in touch if you are interested in being involved.
What happens now?
We will begin with a funded development phase (2018-19). The application we submitted to win the funding outlined a vision of the projects we would like the deliver, but we now need to develop the detail of the scheme. HLF has given us £200,000 to do this and we will begin by hiring a Development Manager to lead this process over the next 18 months. HLF have assigned the overall funding to our scheme, but in order to unlock it we need to produce a document called a Landscape Conservation Action Plan (LCAP) which details the specifics of projects, partners and the scheme as a whole. We want this process to be community-led, so we will also be hiring an Engagement Officer to work with coastal communities and sea users to ensure their vision is at the heart of the LCAP. We aim to submit this second stage application in 2019.
All being well, we aim to commence the Delivery phase of the scheme in 2020. This means when we actually start delivering these exciting projects! The Seascape scheme will run for 4 years (2020-24), delivering over 30 projects to the communities of South Tyneside, Sunderland, Durham and Hartlepool.
How can I get involved?
We are now beginning the process of talking to the people that use and enjoy our coast to get their ideas on what the detail of the Seascape scheme should look like. We ran a series of informal evening sessions in February and March 2018 and were thrilled to have so many people come along to share their ideas. We are now working through their feedback and will be running more workshops and events over the coming months. We’ll be keeping you up to date as other events and activities take place, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear it first.
Read our Press Release here
For more information, please contact Niall Benson, Heritage Coast Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org or 03000 268130.