A PIONEERING social enterprise will celebrate a decade of keeping the wheels of business and industry turning in North Wales.

Rhyl City Strategy (RCS), which helps people in ill health stay in or return to work, is celebrating a decade of achievements throughout Denbighshire and beyond on Thursday November 22.

Since being set up in 2008 to tackle unemployment in West Rhyl with a grant of £330,000, the organisation has secured more than £10m in funding and has now expanded to employ 17 staff at two bases in Rhyl and Bangor to help to support people and workplaces across Denbighshire and Gwynedd, as well as Conwy and Anglesey.

RCS operational director Ali Thomas said: “We are very proud that in a decade of work, we have made a considerable contribution to the economy of North Wales, and to the well-being of so many people in the area.

“Our journey over ten years has been a continuous evolution. We started out as a two year project – we never expected to still be here a decade on.

“This has taken us from being a tiny agitator with a small pot of seed corn funding, to a self-sustaining organisation spanning four counties.

"Over the years, we have levered over £10 million in funding into the area, and created £33 million of social value, so for every pound of investment we have generated over three pounds’ worth of social value."

Some of RCS’s pioneering milestones include the launch of its flagship In Work Support programme across Denbighshire, Anglesey, Conwy, and Gwynedd in 2015, the launch of the Boost! work-focused positive psychology programme in 2017, the Taste Academy training restaurant which ran from 2010 to 2015, and the establishment of the ‘Strikers!’ basic skills centre at Rhyl Football Club in 2010.

Over the years RCS has supported 3,000 people battling ill health to keep their jobs, 2,000 more people return to work after sickness, provided work-related training opportunities for over 5,000 people, 800 unemployed people to get jobs, and created supported employment opportunities for 560 more.

In addition they have helped more than 48 new businesses set up and created 900 healthier and more productive workplaces through wellbeing programmes.

Ms Thomas added: "We want to build on our success and experience to reach even greater numbers of people in our next decade.”

A special 10th anniversary celebration for invited guests will take place on the same day attended by the cabinet secretary for economy and transport, Ken Skates AM, and Ceri Witchard, regulator of community interest companies.