At long last Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is relaunching one of Redcar's most popular attractions - the Coatham Boating Lake following an extensive refurbishment programme which has seen the restoration of the historic footbridge and the introduction of new wildlife habitats.
New inflatable battery-operated boats for children will be available to hire for the Bank Holiday weekend, with plans to run the attraction until the end of September, and model boat enthusiasts have also been able to return to the waters for regular sessions.
Work has included the introduction of a new feature promenade wall, which offers shelter and protection from the sea and sea breezes, new footpaths around the lake, seating and an extensive planting scheme to provide year-round landscaping and colour.
The £850,000 refurbishment programme has overcome a number of challenges to ensure the safe completion of the works, such as the removal of old and unusable electricity cables, the diversion of water pipes and prolonged periods of bad weather which have impacted on the programme schedule.
Having overcome these challenges, residents and visitors can now enjoy full access to the area, which also includes a number of information panels which provide details of the 'My Place' world class youth centre due to be constructed next to the lake using £4.94million of funding provided by the Big Lottery. Work on the ‘My Place’ centre is due to start next year.
Work to restore the area continues with plans to review the use of the Boathouse and options for its long-term maintenance. The Council also wants to reintroduce public toilets as part of the propsed new leisure centre.
Model boat enthusiasts are delighted to be back. Mark Allison, chairman of the Redcar Model Boat Club, said: "We are very pleased the lake is open to the public again.
"Now we hope to see a return to the grand old days when Coatham Boating Lake is much-loved as a real gem by the seaside and enjoyed again with great pride."
Anyone interested in joining the Redcar Model Boat Club, who have four weekly sessions at the lake on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from 6pm-8pm and weekends from 2pm-4pm, can contact club secretary John Atkinson on 01642 510890.