Clinton and Gavin Borders who run the Central Beach Club on Bastion Road. The club is in its 21st year.
Christine Jones outside her business, Prestatyn Crazy Golf
Michael Webber and William Williams. Mr Webber runs the amusement arcade and Mr Williams runs the Central Beach Cafe.
Jane Moss runs Lido Beach Stores - the corner shop
The Journal meets business owners (Alan Warrington, Christine Jones's partner and Robert Parr from Lido Beach were also in attendance)
The traders want some support whilst the Nova is being refurbished
The traders are calling for free parking
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ON A STRETCH of road which leads to what is now just a shell of a leisure centre, business owners are feeling “forgotten”.
Since the Prestatyn Nova Centre closed, owners of shops, cafes, a pub and members’ club and leisure facilities on Bastion Road are experiencing a quietness which is usually reserved for rural areas. The hustle and bustle of children being shipped off to swimming has gone. The Nova car park is empty and a tatty building stands tall.
Every now and again a visitor tugs on the door of the leisure centre before realising it is closed. Although the centre closed in February, up to a couple of days ago it was advertised as open on its website. Signs are still in place leading drivers to disappointment and proud business owners nearby are feeling let down.
Clinton Borders, 52, has run the Central Beach Club since 1993 and for the last 12 years his son has primarily run the club.
He fears that it is only a matter of time until the leisure centre is vandalised.
“The council have got a sign up to say that the Nova is still open and it just makes us look like a joke,” he said.
“It looks derelict. Once a window goes in, it is not going to stop. There are earth boxes with the covers off, there are cables exposed. What have the maintenance men been doing? There are even lights left on.
“If we let our businesses get to that stage we would be closed because no one would want to come.”
Michael Webber, who runs the amusement arcade, said: “We are the forgotten part of Prestatyn. As soon as they get to that bridge the council can’t be bothered.”
Prestatyn’s Nova Centre, along with Rhyl’s Sun Centre and the North Wales Bowls Centre, closed when Clwyd Leisure ran out of cash.
The keys were handed back to Denbighshire County Council and the Nova will remain closed until a refurbishment is completed next year.
Business owners are now calling for Denbighshire to support them in their efforts to keep hold of their regulars, firstly by making the Nova car park free and secondly, by keeping the toilets situated behind the Nova open.
Between March and October parking is £1 for one hour, £2 for four hours and £4.50 for all day.
Christine Jones, who has run Prestatyn Crazy Golf for the past 10 years, said: “Whilst the Nova is being done up they really could do something with the parking. With it not being there, people are asking ‘is it right that you have to pay?’
“The toilets are shutting at 4pm and people are coming into the golf to ask if we have toilets.”
Alan Warrington, Christine Jones’s partner, added: “You can see little kiddies having a wee behind the wall.”
Mr Borders said his club was the only premises that had private toilet facilities.
He explained: “We let people use them because we are nice. We couldn’t carry the whole area and why should we? We need to know if the toilets are staying.
“As for the car parking, if people know that they can’t come swimming but that they can park outside the businesses and spend their money without spending an extra £5 parking, then we will be okay – it is all about keeping them here.”
Gavin Borders added: “People can’t even stop outside and come in for a drink – they have got to pay a premium to park.
“I was brought up here and I want to pass the business to my children. If things carry on - that is not going to happen. This parking needs to be lifted immediately.”
Mr Webber added: “It is great what the council have done in the middle of Prestatyn, but there are other businesses down here. We pay our rates and employ staff. We are not asking for the council to stand all our expenses but since the closure of the biggest tourism attraction, we need the car park to be free and be given a bit of slack on parking of vehicles outside our own businesses.
“It is not really asking for much - we don’t want them to find world peace.”
Collectively, the owners have run their businesses successfully on Bastion road for more than 125 years.
Jane Moss, who runs the corner shop, said footfall was only slightly down for her but stated “it is early days”.
She explained: “We are preparing for Easter - we usually sell swimming aids and we can’t this year unless people are going into the sea.
“People are wary when it comes to parking because of the traffic wardens and these enforcement officers. We want to approach the council to see if we can have a loading bay but we feel that they are just going to come along and put yellow lines down there too.”
Robert Parr, of Lido Beach, said that he shared “everyone’s opinion” but for him - it was about focusing on positives.
Mr Parr said: “When the Nova’s redeveloped, that is going to be a big draw for us.
“Prestatyn has always had a quality about it because we have spent the money - we don’t want it to go downhill.”
William Williams, who runs the Central Beach Cafe, agreed that keeping Prestatyn’s “quality” was a must.
He said: “People love coming to Prestatyn. It is a great little area for everybody. We don’t get the thugs as we don’t cater for them.”
Mr Borders added: “You may be working 110 hours a week when there is only 168 hours in a week, but you have to keep going.”
Mr Warrington added: “The effort that goes into these businesses is huge. The council actually has workshops about how to manage your businesses and on marketing. Do they not look in the mirror?
“The people here have got more enterprise in their little finger.”
A Denbighshire County Council spokesperson said: “In terms of making the Nova car park free, there’s a county-wide parking review going on at present and so we await the results of that but it is worth noting that the main users of the car park are people wishing to visit the beach as customers to the Nova had their parking refunded.
“DCC intend on keeping the toilets next to the Nova open and they will be maintained.
“There are no plans to board the venue up. Checks are carried out daily and we hope to be able to begin the refurbishment work at the earliest opportunity - a business case is going before Members in May.
“We won’t be taking down road signs directing drivers to the Nova because we hope to be starting work there as soon as possible subject to the business case being approved.
“We have publicised on our website and social media pages what the council’s position has been at every stage of the process and this has been widely covered in the media.
"There are town and area plans that are available for communities to feed into and draw down funding for projects to enhance their area. Concerns can be taken up with their local member who can represent them and bring those concerns to the council."
“The Nova is likely to be refurbished this year and it will be advertised - subject to the approval of the business case.”