Iconic Saltburn building could remain closed for over a year following tidal surge (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Iconic Saltburn building could remain closed for over a year following tidal surge
THE lease-holder of one of the region’s most iconic seaside buildings has said it may not re-open for more than a year as a result of this year’s devastating tidal surge.
Gary Seldon owns the arcade in the Grade II-listed Saltburn Pier building which was badly damaged in the storms on Saltburn front earlier this month.
He had invested about £250,000 in the business since taking over the lease on the Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council- owned building in 2011.
The damage caused by the tidal surge, which has twisted iron railings and tore up concrete on the front, has been made secure but the council is still assessing the damage.
Mr Seldon, who also runs Seldon Leisure world in Seaburn, Sunderland, said he hoped the authorities would install better sea defences to enable him to secure a new insurance deal.
He explained he was insured for the damage but said he was at his "lowest point” as a result of the damage.
He said: “Everyone at the council says, ‘we’ll put it back as it was, maybe a bit better,’ but really there should be better sea defences, something that could deflect the wave.
"We did so much work on the building, we gutted and rewired the whole place and had brand new equipment.
"We were well insured but I don’t know if we could get it insured like that again. To tell the truth I’m surprised it stood up to the battering. I think it could be a year or 18 months before we reopen again.”
Nick Noble, who owns the Saltburn Surf Hire and Surf School on the front, said a stone mason had been in the area recently to assess the damage.
He said a “silver lining” would be an improvement to the front and a restoration of its heritage, including what is believed to be the sleepers from the original 1825 Darlington to Stockton railway used in the front wall.
Ian Burton, landlord of the nearby Ship Inn, took over the pub with his wife, Lisa, shortly after the storm and is waiting for an insurance company to replace a damaged fence. He said his business had not been affected, but thought others might have been in the days following the storm.
Councillor George Dunning, Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: "Repair work began in December, starting with the footbridge which was completed before Christmas.
"Work will resume early in the new year and will take approximately one month, costing approximately £100k but subject to change following further assessments."
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