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International focus on New Brighton

The focus was on a bright and breezy New Brighton when the Institute of Civil Engineers held an international conference in Liverpool for the first time in 30 years.

Focussing on coastal engineering, the conference culminated in a visit to Wirral to learn more about the Kings Parade Beach Stabilisation Scheme. Constructed in the mid-1980s, the scheme was primarily to stop erosion of the Kings Parade Sea Wall, however, benefits included golden sand that was attracted back to the beaches around the coastline, supporting the resort's regeneration.

Delegates were welcomed by David Ball and Neil Thomas of Wirral Council, and Dr Philip Barber, who designed the scheme when employed by the council in the 1980s.

Delegates heard about the changing fortunes of New Brighton, culminating in its resurgence as a resort, and the place that improved coastal defences and the beaches have played in its transformation.

The breakwaters that form part of the coastal defence scheme are still attracting sand and are still structurally sound and require minimal maintenance. In addition, experts were told that no further work is anticipated for another 40 years.