CALLS have been made for a change of focus to encourage regeneration in towns like Rhyl.

Mark Isherwood, North Wales AM, is proposing a £200 million fund to be set up by the Welsh Government to address the specific challenges face by seaside and market towns.

Opening a Welsh Conservative Debate on community regeneration, Mr Isherwood put forth a solution to the lack of progress in addressing poverty in Welsh towns - five of the ten most deprived areas in Wales are located in seaside and market towns including Rhyl and Wrexham - involving “levelling up” spending over a five year period.

The proposed increased in funding aims to address poverty via business led approach, focused on relief of business rates, as well as engaging communities to help co-design and co-deliver local services.

r Isherwood said: “ As the Federation of Small Businesses Cymru has argued, towns are fundamental to the way that Wales works, with small towns in Wales accounting for almost 40% of the whole population of the country and ’we need a new approach for our high streets - struggling under the weight of a number of issues, and we have now reached a critical time for these businesses.”