A new water sports centre in County Durham has been nominated for a prestigious national award.

The centre at Seaham Harbour Marina is a finalist in the Excellence in Planning for Health and Wellbeing category at the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018.

The water sports centre, which opened in July 2017, offers a programme of activities include kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddle boarding, as well as providing changing facilities, showers, a kayak store and office space.

It was paid for by a grant from the Coastal Communities Fund and match-funding from Durham County Council, Seaham Harbour Community Interest Company and Sport England.

Peter Coe, development manager at Durham County Council and director of Seaham Harbour Marina, said: “We are delighted to have been nominated for this award which recognises the hard work done to create a building which complements the rest of the marina development and takes into account the environmental and ecological conditions of the site.

“The centre provides a fantastic space for leisure, recreation, health and well-being activities for local communities and we know that the facilities it offers are already enhancing Seaham’s reputation as a visitor destination.”

The winners will be announced during a ceremony held at Milton Court at The Barbican, London on 24 May.

Seaham Harbour Marina opened in 2013 and has 14 business units currently housing the marina office, East Durham Heritage Centre, a number of shops, businesses and eateries, and a pontoon with 96 berths boasting new facilities.

For more information on letting a business unit or becoming a berth holder, call the marina office directly on 0191 581 8998.

John Acres MRTPI, president of the Royal Town Planning Institute, said: “This year’s finalists reflect the important contribution planners and planning makes to creating great places and tackling the challenges we face across the UK.

“Planners are taking on new and innovative projects and the finalists show they are succeeding. It’s a huge achievement just to be shortlisted this year given the six per cent rise in entries to the awards and the high calibre of entries will make judging very difficult.”

Andrew Jones MRTPI, practice leader for design, planning and economics at AECOM, said: “AECOM is proud to once again be a headline sponsor of this year’s RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence. The finalists are a diverse mixture of outstanding examples of planning, which demonstrate the breadth of the impact the profession has on quality placemaking and delivery in the built environment.”

David Jackson MRTPI, head of planning at Savills, said: “Savills is delighted to be a headline sponsor of the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence. The finalists reflect the positive impact planning has on our communities and wider society across the UK, Ireland and internationally through exemplary projects, plans and people.”