RHYL residents have taken the regeneration of the town into their own hands with the miraculous transformation of a pub closed in December for its “extremely dangerous condition”.

A consortium of volunteers and community workers have been working seven days a week,and often 12 hours a day, to breathe fresh life into the former Wellington pub on Wellington Road in Rhyl - which was served a prohibition notice by District Judge Gwyn Jones in Llandudno after he saw pictures of the kitchen.

Rhyl Journal:

The former pub was closed after District Judge Gwyn Jones saw the state of the premises. Picture: Denbighshire County Council

In a stunning act of community spirit, a group of the town’s tradespeople have supported volunteers of the Brighter Futures consortium who have spearheaded the operation on a shoestring budget that required sifting through faeces, rot and even asbestos.

Rhyl Journal:

A member of the consortium sifts through the debris at the former Wellington Inn. Picture: Marie Mitchell

Rhyl Men and Women’s Shed co-ordinator and Youth Group volunteer sports leader Marie Kennedy said: “The building was utterly disgusting, like those programmes you see on TV like Grime Busters. We spent more than six weeks just clearing the rubbish.

“There were faeces in the kitchen and living areas, asbestos needed managing.

“Once we could see the actual building we found huge leaks and holes, lead pipes on drinking water systems, the entire building had no electrical earth and we have had to replace the entire building wiring. We have basically had to rip everything out and start fresh.

Rhyl Journal:

The extent of the rubbish cleared from the site. Picture: Marie Mitchell

“It’s been a really long few months, we don’t think in the past few months there has been a single day - including weekends - that we haven’t had to work, with many days starting at 7 am through to 7 or 8pm at night.”

Rhyl Journal:

Volunteers have been working seven days a week and often 12 hours a day to transform the space. Picture: Jaynie Jones

Now the building has been utterly transformed in a modern space which will be used to combat social isolation and serve as a new home for Rhyl Men’s Shed, Rhyl Women’s Shed West Rhyl Children and Parents Group, Rhyl Youth Group, Rhyl Youth Shed, Street Games, Wifi Connections and the Moontime Project.

While Ms Kennedy estimates a modest investment of about £13,000 frome each of the group’s individual budgets, as well as some grant funding, more than £50,000 in materials and tradespeople’s time has very been donated by 10 of the town’s businesses -as well as major paint manufacturer Dulux - and labour from members of some of the groups.

Rhyl Journal:

Volunteers have been working seven days a week and often 12 hours a day to transform the space. Picture: Jaynie Jones

To help cut costs. the group also upcycled any salvageable parts of the pub, which was formerly known as the Liverpool Arms.

Ms Kennedy added: “It was a bit like DIY SOS where people have donated materials, items of furniture, their time, as and when they could to help even if it was just an hour after work that day.

“It is very symbolic, how the community can pull together to make good that which was so bad. It’s a miracle

“We would like to hang a plaque in our building with the names of every person who has kindly helped us as a thank you and a memorial for their contribution.”

Rhyl Journal:

The new community hub has been utterly transformed on a shoestring budget by people power and elbow grease. Picture: Kerry Roberts

While there is still work to be done on the first floor, and the consortium are still in the process of finalising the change of use for the building with Denbighshire County Council’s planning committee, Brighter Futures have begun their move from their former Abbey Street community centre.

A spokesperson for Denbighshire County Council has confirmed that they are working with the company, and has received further information this week in respect of the change of use application.

A final decision is expected in the next few weeks.