Cleveleys Seafront: Stepped Promenade

Cleveleys Seafront: Stepped Promenade

Most of Cleveleys seafront is of a fairly new construction. It’s a modern and attractive design in a stepped promenade that’s also very user friendly.

Cleveleys Seafront: Stepped Promenade

The stepped promenade at the seafront extends from the boundary where the borough of Wyre meets Blackpool at Kingsway. The next section of sea wall at Anchorsholme in Blackpool has also been rebuilt recently.

The stepped design is used along the whole stretch of Cleveleys, past the end of the town centre at Victoria Road West, right up to Carr Gate next to The Venue. There, the stepped sea defences meet the natural shingle at Rossall Beach.

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The video clip below is taken on the promenade at the top of Victoria Road West

Cleveleys seafront and beach: stepped promenade at the end of Victoria Road West

This clip is taken further north, opposite The Venue near the cafe. You can see Mary’s Shell on the beach.

Cleveleys seafront and promenade with Mary's Shell on the beach

Design of Cleveleys Stepped Promenade

The purpose of the promenade from rear wall to beach is to reduce the risk of overtopping and flooding from the sea during poor weather conditions. At the same time it’s an attractive and useful public amenity.

The stepped promenade revetment at Cleveleys, and the beach
The stepped promenade revetment at Cleveleys, and the beach

The revetment (above) is a stepped design – read on to see why it’s so effective against flooding. These steps also give very easy access to the beach. At regular intervals you’ll find proper staircases with handrails for easier access.

There’s also a central ramp (below) to the beach for prams, wheelchairs and emergency vehicle access.

Ramp to the beach at Cleveleys, a break in the stepped promenade
Ramp to the beach at Cleveleys, a break in the stepped promenade

The top section of new promenade is wide and flat and built in two split levels, each of which is a spillover area for sea water. Alternate ramps and steps give access between the two levels. The blocks which separate them provide a handy, endless bench (complete with back-rest!) along the full length of the sea wall.

Cleveleys split level upper prom, above the stepped promenade
Cleveleys split level upper prom, above the stepped promenade

Take a look at the clip below of Cleveleys promenade at it’s best. It’s Cleveleys Car Show in June 2015.

Cleveleys promenade at the Car Show in 2015

On the seafront there are cast concrete picnic tables and chairs and the most comfortable granite benches that you could imagine. Particularly when they are warmed by the sun! Along with the seafront shelters, you’ll always find somewhere to sit and enjoy the view.

Cleveleys stepped promenade at night
Cleveleys promenade at night

Public Art Trail

When you visit, enjoy the public art trail on Cleveleys promenade. It brings the story of the Sea Swallow to life with giant pieces including Mary’s Shell, an Ogre, and his giant paddle.

A New Promenade Providing Protection from Tidal Flooding

The promenade and sea defence works at Cleveleys began in November 2005. Phase Two was completed in early 2010 and the final phase was opened at the SeaFest event on 4 July 2010.

Cllr Russell Forsyth opening the sea defences and stepped promenade in July 2010
Cllr Russell Forsyth opening the sea defences in July 2010

The new sea wall takes account of predicted sea level rise as a result of climate change. Along with protecting homes and businesses from flooding it creates the amazing new promenade. It’s a modern and attractive tourist attraction for the 21st Century, and draws many people to Cleveleys. It’s a big attraction in this seaside town and keeps it alive for the future.

New Stepped Promenade – Phase One

The first phase of works between the seafront cafe and the end of Victoria Road West cost £20 million. The completed length of sea defences protects 7,693 properties from tidal flooding, with less than a half percent risk of breach in any one year.

The shape and arrangement of the stepped revetment and the wide, split level promenade is all part of the design to keep the water back. First of all the steps take the energy out of the tide, then the wide, split level promenade reduces the risk of overtopping.

In the next video clip, you can see the waves rushing up to the shore and bashing against the steps. As the waves roll up the steps you can see how they lose their energy –

Stepped promenade sea defences in action at high tide

The split level promenade is the next line of defence. Waves that do reach the top of the steps in poor weather flood across the lower level of the promenade. All the while they lose their energy, reducing the risk of overtopping.

Waves overtopping on Cleveleys stepped promenade in bad weather
Waves overtopping on Cleveleys promenade in bad weather

The top level of promenade provides a further level of protection, with the rear wall the final line of defence. The storm gates are shut when bad weather is forecast, which closes the access gaps in the rear wall.

New Promenade – Phase Two

Phase Two of the Cleveleys scheme is from the high street at Victoria Road West up to the boundary with Blackpool at Kingsway. Completed in early 2010, it cost of a further £6 million.

Cleveleys stepped promenade Phase 2
Cleveleys stepped promenade Phase 2

This phase began in March 2008 with the local manufacture of the precast concrete elements at Hillhouse Industrial Estate at Thornton. Meanwhile, on site, poor ground conditions were stabilised.

In March 2009 construction of the second phase began on site. The stepped promenade continues, along with the wide, split level walkway. There’s a new sea wall to the rear, and attractive planted beds between the seawall and main road.

South Promenade Cleveleys, another section of stepped promenade
South Promenade Cleveleys

Photos from the previous 1947 sea wall build

See photos from the recent Cleveleys sea wall works here


Core funding from central government always covers the work of replacing the sea defences themselves, on a like-for-like basis.

Additional funding was secured by Wyre Council to cover the cost of lighting, street furniture, the public art and landmark features.

According to the Council’s Coast Defence Strategy, this final section of work wasn’t due to be carried out until 2012. It was demonstrated to the Environment Agency (who oversee funding) that by continuing the work, significant cost savings could be made, to the value of £1.5 million. The scheme was brought forward so that these savings could be achieved.

The funding primarily came from Defra. Additional contributions came from the Environment Agency, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and Wyre Council.

Award Winning New Promenade

The new sea defences are a valuable public space – not just a structure to keep the sea out. It’s very successfully met its original goal, and is enjoyed all year round by visitors and local people alike.

The ‘Peoples Promenade’ is an award winning promenade, and won well over 20 accolades, including:

– The British Construction Industry’s Environmental Award
– The North West Tourism Award for the Best Public Space in the North West
– Project of the Year in the national Constructing Excellence Awards 2009. Judges sought a scheme that demonstrated the highest level of technical achievement, innovation and application of best practice, delivered to time and budget through team working at all levels.

While you’re here…

Have a look at the Visit Cleveleys website homepage for more of the latest updates.

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