MAJOR re-devlopment work in Rhyl is being overlooked, according to Vale of Clwyd MP Chris Ruane.
Despite the loss of retail giants M&S and Next, the closure of the GameStation store and a number of empty shops in the High Street, Mr Ruane says Rhyl is “on the up”.
He said: “We are all aware in Rhyl of the amount of negativity the town seems to attract, so much so, that often some of the major redevelopment accomplishments and investments are overlooked.
“But there is a lot of work going on to turn Rhyl’s fortune’s around and I think it’s really important that we start to celebrate some of our success stories and create a more positive message that Rhyl is on the up."
Plans for the future of the town include a new £10million aquatic centrre to replace the Sun Centre, a £2.5million re-vamp of the train station, a 60-bed hotel on the site of the former Honey Club as well as an ambitious project to transform a section of West Rhyl with new housing and a Victorian square.
Mr Ruane added: “We now need to fill the void in Rhyl High Street which has been left by M&S but steps are being made.
“Together with local councillors, businesses and the Rhyl Town Centre Forum we have raised awareness and made progress on several issues.
“These have included helping to appoint a town centre manager; getting a review of business rates; parking incentives; improving the cleanliness of the
High Street and lobbying the council to use its enforcement powers on some of the ‘grot spots’.
“There have also been more events in the town centre and on the promenade, while a market was established to attract footfall into the town centre and although some of the ‘quality aspect’ could be improved, there is definitely more vibrancy in the town centre.
“The continuing success of the Rhyl in Bloom committee has also improved the overall ‘feel’ of the town centre, and we're asking for businesses to play a bigger part in this competition in 2013.”
Mr Ruane said he was meeting with Denbighshire Council to implement a town centre strategy for Rhyl, which will enable the council to apply for more funding.
Vale of Clwyd AM Ann Jones said: “We’ve always known the task of regenerating Rhyl was never going to happen overnight, it’s been a long process; but we’ve come together as a community, with residents, businesses and politicians all singing from the same hymn sheet.
“The hard work is really paying dividends and it’s having an impact right across the community.
“With funding and support from the Welsh Government we’ve come on leaps and bounds. The new harbour project, the impending demolition of the Honey Club, the west end’s housing project, funding for events on Rhyl High Street and investment in the railway station – all things that are helping us meet the needs of residents, businesses and tourists.”