Rhyl waterfront £4.5m investment a 'big step forward'

A £4.5m investment to transform part of Rhyl's waterfront has been hailed as a "significant step forward for the town.

28th September 2016

A £4.5m investment to transform part of Rhyl's waterfront has been hailed as a "significant step forward for the town.

The money - most of which is coming from a £3.5m Welsh Government grant - will pay for a new "hospitality zone" on the seafront.

The scheme, which was formally approved by Denbighshire council on Tuesday, involves the demolition of the much-loved Sun Centre, which has just begun.

Council leader Hugh Evans said it was an "important milestone".

The Sun Centre's demolition is the first piece of the regeneration jigsaw, with work also due to start on re-modelling the adjacent Pavilion Theatre.

"Improvements to the promenade aim to not only benefit Rhyl's economy through increased footfall from visitors but also the residents of Rhyl and wider north Wales communities," said Mr Evans.

The spending programme also includes improvements to various car parks and the "enhancement" of the Sky Tower landmark, which it is hoped will eventually be refurbished as a light beacon.

As well as the Welsh Government grant, the work will be funded by the sale of the former Honey Club site on West Parade, car-parking fees and balances transferred from Clwyd Leisure Ltd, which formerly ran the Sun Centre.

Les Harker, who owns amusement arcades in the town, said it was "fabulous" news.

"Yes, there's going to be a bit of upheaval while the work is going on but it has got to be done," he said.

"Rhyl has been in the doldrums for the last five years and the only way now is up.

"But they are starting in the right place - with the promenade and the beach - because that's what people come here for."

Town and county councillor Win Mullen-James said: "In a nutshell, I am delighted this decision has been made.

"I think people in Rhyl have had so many disappointments over the years and I think that this is a really positive step.

£33m overhaul

"There has been some opposition in the town. I think that's because people are afraid they are going to be let down again.

"But they can see now that finally something is actually beginning to happen."

The new hospitality zone is the first of a four-phase redevelopment planned for the town's waterfront.

The total project will cost around £33m and will include the creation of new outdoor leisure activities, restaurants and a new water park to replace the Sun Centre.

"We will have to look at the next three phases of the redevelopment individually when the time comes, in terms of what's best for the people of Rhyl," added Mrs Mullen-James.

"I think what we want is for the town to be a place where people can live and work happily and I think this first phase is a step towards that."

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