A MULTI-MILLION pound scheme to improve bathing waters off the Teesside coast has been given the go-ahead.

Two underground storage tanks, which will hold excess storm water, are to be installed by Northumbrian Water costing more than £6m.

During heavy rainfall, storm water is currently discharged directly into the sea at Redcar and can end up on beaches along the coast. But after extensive consultation with residents, the project will start in June, with the backing of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.

Councillor Bob Stanway, cabinet member for environmental improvement, said: "At the moment during heavy rains, the sewage system cannot cope with the excess. It is therefore passed through to the overflow, into the sea and onto our beaches.

"But once the new tanks have been installed, this will not happen, making our beaches and the environment a cleaner, safer place to be."

One storage tank is to be located under The Stray, between the roundabout on the Coast Road and the existing pumping station in Zetland Park, and the other tank is to be located in the grounds of Redcar and Cleveland College.

The scheme, which will be complete by next spring, will give extra storm protection to Redcar's sewer network.

A spokeswoman for Northumbrian Water said: "These tanks will significantly improve the environment and the condition of the bathing waters, which are popular in the summer months.

"We have gone a long way to ensure the public of Redcar is happy with the project and the finalised project goes along with the preferred options of the residents of Redcar."

The improvement work will improve bathing water quality and ensure standards comply with European legislation.

Coun Stanway said: "Environmentally, our beaches are good quality and pass European standards.

"We want to show people Redcar is a clean, green place to visit."

In addition to this work, Northumbrian Water has also offered to try to help identify the possible cause of flooding in Zetland Park.

For details, ring Northumbrian Water on 08457 171 100