Newbiggin by the Sea was once a seaside resort, with the residential area focused around the bay. Falling beach levels and increased risk of seawall failure led to a strategy and proposal to import beach fill, along with construction of an offshore breakwater to retain material.
Work commenced with the construction of the breakwater, firstly laying a geotextile fabric before placing the rock core. The project included for the sculpture ‘Couple’ (two 5m high bronze figures) to be mounted on a steel piled structure, incorporated into the body of the breakwater. The foundations and receiving piles were laid during low waters whilst placing the rock core. 3.9m³ Coreloc (concrete armour) units were then placed as the upper armour layer, with a 5 tonne rock armour toe.
Altogether 60,000 tonnes of rock and concrete armour were used to build the offshore breakwater. 300,000m³ of beach recharge was then dredged and pumped ashore, in just 3½ weeks, by the 15,000m³ Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger, ‘Oranje’. The vessel won sand from a licensed area near Skegness, before linking up to a 1½km pipeline running into the bay at Newbiggin gas industries in the North Sea.