A plan to spruce up town centre buildings in Rhyl is already having an impact.
Last year Denbighshire County Council surveyed businesses, residents and visitors to Rhyl to find out what they thought about the town and what changes they would like to see.
The majority of people felt improvements to the appearance of the town were needed and acting on this feedback, the Council initiated a project to address concerns and has been working closely with local businesses and landlords.
The Council launched a plan to ensure buildings which have fallen into a poor state and are in need of renovating are improved by their owners, contributing towards making the town more welcoming and attracting investment, tourists and shoppers.
So far 22 buildings have been improved since the project was launched in October last year while refurbishment work is either on-going or planned on another 15 properties.
Work has included repainting windows and render, renewal of broken glazing, refurbishment of business signage and security shutters and the removal of weeds growing out of buildings.
Emlyn Jones, the Council’s Head of Planning and Public Protection Services, said:
“The feedback we have been getting from local businesses and residents has been extremely positive, they can see the difference this is making to their town.
“The owners and occupiers of buildings that have been renovated are to be congratulated on the good example they are setting and we encourage others to follow suit.
“There are clear long term benefits for property owners and businesses by improving their properties, bringing them up to higher standards.
“By working together, we can really make a difference to the visual impact of the town centre and encourage more people in for shopping, entertainment and to do business.
“We believe this is a unique project and there are no similarly focused projects with dedicated staff on-going within North Wales. It is hoped that our partnership approach will be met with understanding and an acceptance by property owners that making their contribution towards improving the town centre for the good of all is good business sense.”
Luke Coltman-Jones, 29, has owned the Rumblin’ Tum café for two years said he is delighted after the building’s owner carried out work including cleaning gutters, repairing and painting the front of the building.
“We have had lots of comments from customers about how much better the building looks. I’m really pleased with the work and hopefully this scheme will attract more custom and bring some more business to the area.
“I’m glad the owner of the building could see the benefits and was happy to get on board with this project and volunteered to carry out the work to set a good example.
“I think Rhyl is on the up and hopefully we can get our name back on the map and get it how it used to be.”
Nadeem Ahmad who owns the Jean Emporium and Chrome clothing stores in the town centre, said:
“I have been impressed with the work that has taken place already in Rhyl. It has been highly encouraging to see the effort being made by businesses and property owners alike carrying out works to improve their properties. It reflects the confidence and aspirations that we all have for Rhyl going forward.”
Officers from the Council’s Planning and Public Protection Service will continue to assess town centre properties and work with property owners to deliver guidance and when necessary, formal planning enforcement powers can be used.
The Council itself is investing in key buildings in the town centre which it has recently purchased for redevelopment to provide new high quality apartments and space for smaller businesses to get off the ground. These include the former Granite Outdoors shop and the former Next shop, where refurbishment works have just commenced, as well as the Queens Buildings.