A COASTAL landmark is opening to the public for the first time in its history.

Following years of planning, restoration and repairs, tours of Sunderland’s Roker Pier lighthouse and tunnel begin on Monday.

The Grade II-listed structure, built in the late Victorian era, has undergone a six-year transformation.

Its connecting tunnel, which once provided the only means for keepers to reach the lighthouse in stormy weather, has also been restored, with a new entrance allowing public access.

The £2.5m restoration has included conservation of the lantern house, repairs to the tunnel floor and drains, plus access improvements.

Tours are being run by local volunteers, the Roker Heritage Group, which is taking over the stewardship of the pier from Sunderland City Council.

Any profits made from the tours by the charity will be reinvested into activities, events and outreach work.

The tours will run three times a day, costing £6 for adults and £4 for children.

All are weather-dependent.