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Neaco’s aluminium open grille systems are demonstrating their hardy maritime qualities on the latest phase of the Seaham North Dock regeneration in Durham, marking the second time the products have been specified on a project which has already won multiple awards.

The scheme comprises extra berths and facilities for boat owners, easier access to the beach, environmental improvements and a watersports centre with changing facility, showers, kayak store and office space.  Designed by Napper Architects, the building includes a walkway and overhanging balcony area which feature Neaco’s Techdek grilles installed as decking.  The walls have been clad in two contrasting panel styles to protect it from the North Sea and Solar PV panels have been incorporated onto the adjacent sub-station roof.  The watersports facility will run a range of activities including canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding sailing and wet and dry rowing, cycling, running, triathlon and orienteering sessions.


The development of the watersports centre is being funded and supported by Sport England, Durham County Council, Seaham Harbour Dock Company, County Durham Sport and £1.744m from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund. It follows the previous £3.5 million phase which included pontoons for 76 boats installed in the North Dock, the restoration of the listed North Dock Wall and the creation of The Waterside, a flagship building comprising 12 commercial units and café facility with a link to the maritime context of the dock. A derelict building has also been transformed into a heritage centre run by the East Durham Heritage Group, with the George Elmy lifeboat now on show. Durham County Council commissioned Napper Architects to design The Waterside, which features Neaco’s Techdek grilles as decking on a first-floor terrace.

The project has breathed new economic life into the previously redundant North Dock and forms part of a wider regeneration scheme which has successfully reversed the decline across the town of Seaham. Napper’s design for The Waterside has won 11 awards, including a RIBA building of the year Award, Client of the Year Award and a Civic Trust National Commendation.

Neaco’s National Sales Manager, Peter Melia, said:

“Neaco have supplied specifications for Napper Architects for a number of past projects and we are proud to be associated with their outstanding work on this multiple award-winning development. Our grille systems are extremely durable and corrosion-free, making them ideal for marine environments like Seaham North Dock.”

Neaco’s Techdek has gained a reputation for exceptional versatility and the system is utilised for wide range of architectural applications including industrial and balcony flooring, ventilation grilles, screening, bridge decking, cladding, staging and solar shading. The grilles are lightweight yet strong with a patented swage-locked construction between bars enabling high structural efficiency. The product has a design life of 60-100 years and is 100 per cent recyclable with no downgrading of its properties and very little energy required for re-melting. Neaco’s product range also includes a wide range of modular balustrade and balcony systems.