The first phase of work to renew Northern Promenade was complete for summer 2017 from Watts Slope to the skate park, with new surfacing, railings, shelters, seats and lighting along the stretch. The Coronation Fountain has also been repainted in its original colours.
The railings and lighting are painted in two tone Whitley Bay colours. The building used by Panama Swimming Club is to be adorned with a large wrap featuring images of current club members.
Beach access has been improved with replacement steps and hand rail. The public toilets at Watts Slope have also benefited from a refurbishment providing modern facilities for visitors. An ice cream kiosk is located on the new promenade providing refreshments for visitors.
Subject to securing further funding the next phase of the improvements will be to extend the new surface from the Rendezvous Cafe north to the end of promenade as well as improvements to the public toilets.
There are also plans to introduce business pods along the promenade and provide day stay beach huts at some stage.
Watts Slope Gateway
The area has been reshaped to create a meeting area where people can sit and talk and children can play.
The existing retaining walls have been removed to allow paths to be installed between the Links and the promenade.
The toilet block, which has served generations of visitors since it was built in 1950, has been completely refurbished with modern, clean and fresh facilities and also features eye-catching wall-mounted images of the Spanish City (taken by Nigel Gray) and St Mary’s Lighthouse (by Stephen Czopinksi).
There is also an extended new timber decking area with an cream kiosk.
Public realm improvements
Surfacing materials used include red tarmac, granite, exposed concrete, timber and concrete. A cost effective approach has been taken with colours and materials which change as you walk along in response to the designs of different areas of the promenade.
Natural / wild planting will create an informal setting along the promenade. Various styles of landscaping will feature on embankments along the promenade.
A range of seating is featured including:
- seating arranged to fit into existing walls and embankments
- pebble-style seating
‘Moderne’ style railings have been installed along the promenade, inspired by the detail of the Coronation Fountain and the character of the Rendezvous Cafe. The railings are positioned at key sites and access points to the beach, made from galvanised steel, with a timber handrail.
New lighting has extend the use of the promenade into the evening.