MORE than £4m is to be spent on a fishing village's sea defences to save it from the ravages of the North Sea.

The cash for Staithes, North Yorkshire, has been provided by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), to be administered by Scarborough Council.

Councillor Herbert Tindall, representing the village, appealed to the council's cabinet for the cash. He said: "If the work isn't done, the harbour will be torn to bits by the sea. We want to save it for future generations".

John Riby, the authority's head of engineering, said work already carried out included upgrading the northern and eastern breakwaters and putting thousands of tons of rocks alongside them on the seaward side.

Other measures include the building of a "rock beach" within the harbour at Cowbar Nab, and reconstructing the existing groynes in the harbour.

However, attempts to carry out work to improve the entrance channel in the harbour has so far been hampered by heavy tides.

Further work will include strengthening the northern breakwater and dredging the harbour entrance.

Mr Riby said that rock would have to be shipped across the sea from Norway, and that construction work would have to be done at low tides. The scheme is due for completion in November.