A NORTH-EAST lighthouse has been given a facelift.

For almost 150 years the Herd Groyne lighthouse in South Shields has been a landmark of the River Tyne and remains a popular attraction for many shipping enthusiasts.

Owned and maintained by the Port of Tyne, more than 170 litres of paint was needed over a three week period to makeover the 13 metre high lighthouse.

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The Grade 2 listed structure is painted red for navigational reasons and requires specialist paint able to stand up to the environment, weather and sea spray.

Mike Nicholson, Harbour Master for the Port of Tyne, said: “The Herd Groyne remains an important element of navigational safety. Held up on 12 iron legs its beacon is visible for 19 miles and acts as an aid to ships entering the Port of Tyne”.

The Groyne Pier was built by the Port of Tyne’s predecessors the Tyne Improvement Commission between 1861 and 1867 to help the flow of the river and protect the Littlehaven beach from being swept away by the incoming tide.

The unusual hexagonal shape has seen the Groyne featured in numerous films and is a favourite spot for photographers.

The new paint job should see the lighthouse looking shipshape for another ten years.