From 2001 most of the Durham coastline was designated as the Durham Heritage Coast and Seaham beach was entirely restored. In 2002, the Turning the Tide project won, jointly with the Eden Project, the prize for Outstanding Achievement in Regeneration in the annual Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors awards and in 2010 the Durham Heritage Coast won the UK Landscape Award as the best landscape in the UK.
In 2002, Seaham Hall, which had been a Hospital and then a nursing home, was redeveloped into the region’s premier 5 Star Hotel with luxury Serenity Spa. It has since played host to celebrities such as Take That and Oasis during their tours in the region.
Also during 2002, the Seaham Harbour Dock Company moved to a new site further south in the town and following this the Spectrum and Foxcover Industrial Estates were created in order to attract new employers to the area.
In 2006, Seaham was highlighted as the top property price increase hotspot in England and Wales due to average prices rising by 172% since 2003. This surge was greatly helped by the extensive regeneration work in the area, and in particular the popular new housing estate East Shore Village, built on the site of the former Vane Tempest colliery.
The new multi-million pound shopping complex, which now includes an ASDA supermarket as well as Argos and Wilkinson stores, is named Byron Place, in homage to Lord Byron. ASDA officially opened in September 2007 and the rest of the shopping centre opened in November 2007.
During the summer of 2011 the Town Council in association with other beneficiaries provided The Brothers mining memorial to commemorate the lives of those who worked in Seaham's former collieries.
May, 2012 saw the completion and opening to the public of the Seaham Contact Centre in St. John's Square, which provides numerous County Council services to the residents of Seaham, such as housing and council tax benefits, street cleaning and environmental services, planning and building control, waste permits , bus passes and highways issues. In addition a new Primary Care Trust walk-in Centre opened adjacent to the Contact Centre.
The north dock redevelopment is ongoing, however the Seaham Marina opened to the public in the May, 2013.
Also in 2013 work commenced on the construction of a new Town Hall for Seaham which incorporates a very much needed Community Facility. The community aspect of the premises will ultimately be utilised by the whole community for a variety of services ranging from mother and toddler playgroups to luncheon clubs for the elderly. It will provide a modern performance venue for local theatre groups, seating up to 300 people. It has a function room for hire and on the lower floor there will be a cafe for users of Seaham Town Park.
Today, the town has a population of around 21,500, and has excellent transport links with easy access to the A19, numerous bus services and it’s own railway station which lies on the Durham Coast Line, running from Middlesbrough to Newcastle upon Tyne, via Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and Sunderland.
This is a fantastic time for Seaham as the regeneration work, which commenced in the 90’s, has turned the town and its coastline into the bustling, vibrant community it is today. These changes, however, are just the beginning and as the town’s re-invention as a lively tourist destination and key location for business gathers momentum, the community can look forward to improved future prosperity in a town which is genuinely a wonderful place to live and work.