Who Are We?

The Newbiggin by the Sea Heritage Association commenced in 2000 when local people came together, with support from Wansbeck Community and Voluntary Service (WCVS), with the aim of developing a Heritage Centre to showcase the village's long and interesting history. This small beginning formed the catalyst for the exciting Newbiggin Maritime Centre which opened in July 2011.

The Newbiggin by the Sea Heritage Centre was developed using the old beach hut on a primesite at the north end of the promenade in Newbiggin Bay. The Centre had interesting artefacts and was open regularly during the summer months supported by a dedicated group of volunteers. In 2004 the Mary Joicey Trust Project Team was setup to take custodianship from thr RNLI of the Mary Joicey lifeboat (the last large offshore lifeboat to be stationed at Newbiggin). The lifeboat, which left in 1981, was in need of extensive restoration after spending the last few years of her life as an outdoor visitor attraction in Berkshire. A succession of feasibility studies which examined regeneration options for the village consistently highlighted the potential for heritage based projects as a means to develop the local economy and re-establish Newbiggin by the Sea as a desirable venue for a day out at the seaside. In 2006 discussions with the project team, the Association and the Newbiggin History Group brought together the Newbiggin by the Sea Heritage Partnership to serve all interests. The Partnership set about securing funding to build and operate the Newbiggin Maritime Centre which was to be based around the Mary Joicey lifeboat and a Northumbrian fishing coble, the Girl Anne, which had already recently been donated,



Membership of Newbiggin Heritage Partnership is open to everybody for an annual subscription of £1. The organisation is run by a board of trustees and a Newbiggin Maritime Centre Operations Supervisor and Office Manager.

Newbiggin Maritime Centre is a wholly owned subsidiary company of the Heritage Partnership.


Our crew of Volunteers are highly valued members of the team. They contribute to the successful running of the Maritime Centre working alongside the staff team. We are extremely grateful for all the support our volunteers provide but we are always keen to encourage others to join us. You can help in a variety of ways: greeting visitors and helping them to find their way around, talking about the exhibits, researching, cataloguing books, taking care of our artefacts, delivering formal workshops toschool groups and members of the community, running family activities, helping the mail department with mail outs. There are also other areas where we need help to take forward our vision for the future.

People joining our volunteer team are often recently retired and wanting to share their skills and expertise, newto the area and wanting to meet people, planning to return to employment and wanting to gain skills and confidence before applying for work, and students looking for some work experience in a specific area and to improve their CV.

If you would like to volunteer and be involved in any of our activities please contact us at the Maritime Centre.


What Do We Do?

Newbiggin is a community on the move. The last few years have seen a new identity for Newbiggin as a Maritime Heritage Village, a new brand for our community and a significant growth in the local economy; business confidence has grown.

The close-knit nature of the community has acted as a springboard from which the undeniable social ills that have been a feature of the village in recent years have been addressed. A future is envisaged where opportunity rather than narrow horizons define the life chances of our young people; where a new economy, based on tourism and local pride, develops in a vibrant and forward looking community.

Our mission is to provide a Heritage Maritime Centre with facilities for education and training for young people. The Centre is a focus for encouraging visitors to the village and is a landmark venture, a testimony to the determination of local people to succeed anda 'New Beginning' for our community.