A SCHEME to boost Rhyl High Street with free public wifi has taken another step forward.

Officers from the Welsh Government, Denbighshire County Council, town councillors, businesses and MP for Vale of Clwyd Chris Ruane have met to discuss the possibility of introducing the scheme to the town centre.

The introduction of free wifi is being touted as a magnet to help draw shoppers back to the High Street, and tilt the balance back towards the smaller retailers.

Mr Ruane said: “People are increasingly dependent on smartphones for a number of uses especially when shopping.”

“It has also been noted that there is a positive relationship between cities and towns with multiple wifi ‘hotspots’ and the presence of digitally engaged consumers on the High Street."

The meeting follows an earlier consultation between Mr Ruane and Pinacl Solutions in January.

Pinacl - based on St Asaph Business Park - provides wifi to town centres around the UK, and Mr Ruane is seeking their involvement in introducing the scheme to Rhyl with a view to expanding it to other town centres across the Vale of Clwyd if successful.

The technology is mainstay of out of towns shopping centres and retail parks.

Mr Ruane added: "A survey by YouGov found that nearly a quarter of people would be more likely to stay longer in a town or city centre, which offered access to free wifi

“Of course there are other issues which we need to address in town centres, however, this scheme could not just be a way to encourage more people to come along, it could also encourage them to stay longer while they’re here.

“There are a number of exciting projects taking place in Rhyl at the moment and we need to do all we can to ensure those local retailers can benefit from these schemes.”

The group will now decide on the area to be covered by scheme, before seeking an estimate of the cost and consulting with stakeholders to discuss taking it forward.