Seahouses Pier, Northumbria

We completed the restoration of Seahouses Main Pier to safeguard homes, businesses and the harbour from the risk of sea flooding and costal erosion for another century.

Seahouses Main Pier was originally constructed in 1889 to support the lime and fishing industries. Today, the pier, harbour and adjacent coastal frontages play a vital role in supporting the area’s local community and tourism industry.

Exposure to the elements and constant erosion from the sea had left the pier structure in very poor condition. After experts estimated that the pier only had 10-15 years of usable life remaining, Northumberland County Council commissioned Balfour Beatty to deliver the restoration works.

Our works involved:

  • Filling underwater voids with concrete to strengthen the existing walls.
  • Encasing the pier with a 300mm thick layer of locally sourced concrete, effectively, creating a new wall around the pier.
  • Capping the new concrete wall with concrete slabs to secure the core and provide a working deck to accommodate 350 vehicles including disabled access spaces.

Delivered via the SCAPE Civil Engineering framework, the restoration of the pier helps to safeguard the harbour's fishing and tourism industries for another 100 years and protects approximately 26 businesses and 139 homes from the risk of sea flooding and coastal erosion.


properties protected from the risk of sea flooding and coastal erosion


year design life

Early contractor involvement

Early contractor involvement enabled all parties to work collaboratively to design a programme that would not only deliver value for money but balance cost and programme whilst reducing both construction and environmental risks.

This early involvement, as well as liaison with several agencies and the local community, played a key part in developing a robust strategy that ensured access to the pier was maintained for the 150,000 members of the public who embark on Farne Island boat tours.

Working in an extremely sensitive marine conservation area

The pier is located within areas of scientific interest, outstanding natural beauty and special protection. It is also the sole point of access to the Farne Islands; home to breeding birds and England's largest colony of seals.

We worked collaboratively with the Marine Management Organisation and Natural England to minimise and prevent adverse environmental impact throughout the duration of scheme.

Balfour Beatty’s approach to community engagement was exemplar without any complaints which is a massive achievement in delivering a project of this complexity in a very public location.

Aaron McNeill, FCERM Manager

Flood & Coastal Erosion Risk Management

Northumberland County Council