Lights that guided Victorian-era sailors at Seaton Carew are set for redevelopment under an ambitious £5m plan to reinvigorate understanding of the North East’s sea and shore.
As part of the new six-year Seascape project, the remains of the town’s high and low lights – originally built in the 1830s - could be surveyed and restored.
If planning permission is won, work could start by 2020, leading to better public understanding of the features.
What remains of them is in poor condition and they do not emit light, and one is on private land.
The Seascape initiative, launched yesterday, is being supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Landscape Partnership programme, which has given £2.9m.
Remaining funding is mainly from the National Trust, with contributions from North East councils and other organisations.
In and around Hartlepool, Seascape will also work on a range of other projects, including the Heugh Battery Museum.
Work will also be carried on the England Coast Path, which will be the world’s longest managed and waymarked coastal path, and cycleways.
Heritage Coast officer Niall Benson said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to receive this major new grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“It’s going to enable us to deliver fantastic new projects under the Seascape banner that will excite local communities and visitors alike.”
Seascape is a partnership and community approach to protecting and celebrating a 35-mile stretch, from South Shields to Teesmouth, at Middlesbrough.
It is the first of its kind in the UK and the HLF’s first marine Landscape Partnership.
Thirty schemes are planned, each aiming to increase the public’s understanding of what is above and below water, including shipwrecks, and improve access to beaches.
They include creating ‘snorkel safaris,’ producing a virtual reality wreck diving experience and offering opportunities for people to enjoy being on and in the sea.
Led by the Heritage Coast Partnership, partners include the councils of South Tyneside, Sunderland, Durham and Hartlepool, the National Trust, Northumbrian Water, and the Durham Wildlife Trust.