‘Bring back the Crimdon glory days’

Councillor Alan Cox  at the Crimdon site
Councillor Alan Cox at the Crimdon site

A COUNCILLOR is calling for investment to bring a “forgotten” seaside resort back to its former glory.

Councillor Alan Cox, who represents Blackhall on Durham County Council, wants to see Crimdon Dene regenerated and money ploughed into the seaside attraction to restore it to the glory of its 1960s and 1970s heyday.

Coun Cox said: “It’s the forgotten land, it’s a resort waiting to be awoken.

“If you go back to the 1960s and 1970s, Crimdon was a really popular resort.

“We had lots of facilities down there – the pavilion, the local MP used to make speeches there, there were plenty of toilets, fairgrounds, beauty contests, beach facilities, paddling pools, there was all kinds going on.

“Then all of a sudden, it was all taken away.”

He said he understood any investments could prove difficult in the current economic climate.

But the councillor suggested Durham County Council could look at private investment or Lottery funding.

Coun Cox said: “I understand the cuts, but we could make a start on something.

“If you make an investment and get people there, it will pay off.”

He added: “District of Easington Council spent £10m on the Turning of the Tide project 10 years ago to clean the coastline up.

“But all we have got down there now is a place were people go to exercise their dogs.

“There are no buildings and no cover.”

Coun Cox added that the area around the dene had a lot of history and this could be capitalised upon.

He said a heritage centre could help boost the dene, as the area is steeped in history, with a number of shipwrecks off the Crimdon coast and people who were “brought up living on the beach” being possible subjects to focus on.

“I think what we need now is some regeneration to bring people back to Crimdon”, added Coun Cox.

“There’s nothing in the dene and nothing on the beach banks apart from some private horse stables.

“I have been asking for this for years.

“If you are going to spend £10m on the coastline you need something to go with it.”

John Tindale, the county council’s locality officer, said: “Although we currently have no regeneration work planned or underway in the Crimdon Dene area we are more than happy to meet up with Coun Cox to discuss his ideas.

“He must appreciate, however, that in the current climate we do have limited resources.”