A look back at the top stories in 2020:

THERE was no movement at Bodelwyddan Castle after 12 months on the market as “unresolved” financial issues meant the former tourist attraction had not been sold .

The gothic revival style country house, set within 200 acres of mixed land and a two-bedroom house was put up for £1million. It came after Denbighshire County Council withdrew its £144,000 annual grant in 2017. The National Portrait Gallery closed its exhibition of 130 paintings and, although green spaces remained open for some time, the castle Trust failed to find alternative ways of making it self-sufficient. The ongoing financial issues related to the adjacent four-star Warner Leisure site, a local authority freehold.

But plans for the £590million tidal lagoon capable of providing low carbon electricity to power 82,000 homes in North Wales caught wind in July.

Stretching from the breakwater at Mostyn to Point of Ayr near Prestatyn, the 6.7-kilometre lagoon would be the first in Wales if given the green light. It would create 300 jobs and 30 high-skilled permanent posts. Jim O’Toole, manging director of the Port of Mostyn, said: “This will be the biggest infrastructure project North Wales has seen for a very long time and it will provide a massive boost for the regional economy to kickstart the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”

The lagoon would be two metres above sea level and provide flood protection along the low-lying coast.

'Heroic' action and major plans approved and 'surprise' as Betsi leaves special measures

A nurse who rushed into a burning building to save an 80-year-old man before five fire crews arrived at the scene spoke out about her heroic actions (July 15, ‘Heroic nurse braves blaze’). Jayne Jones, who owns Hear and Now Professional Ear Wax Removal, said she was woken up at 4am by shattering glass. The former Glan Clwyd Hospital nurse “grabbed” her dressing gown and ran inside the burning property, where she found neighbour Roy disoriented in his lounge. Small sections of ceiling were falling in flames as he tried to battle the blaze with a bowl of water. “He wanted me to help him but I had to firmly encourage him and pull him by his hands,” said Mrs Jones.

Rhyl Journal:

Hero Jayne Jones, new mental health unit and redevelopment of Royal Alex

Major plans were approved for a new 63-bed mental health unit at Glan Clwyd Hospital (August 26, New mental health unit’). The new facility at the rear of the hospital and replaced the Ablett Unit which was deemed ‘no longer fit for purpose’. The unit will provide acute inpatient mental health care to adults, a new dementia assessment unit and a dedicated crisis assessment area. A multi-storey car park was also approved, which will provide an additional 601 internal and 128 external spaces.

The redevelopment of the Royal Alexandra Hospital was given a budget of £64million (November 4, ‘New hospital bill up by £20m’). The plan, approved in 2018, will improve a long list of services provided to residents in Rhyl and north Denbighshire, including: community beds, a same-day minor injuries and illness service, treatment zone, and outpatient therapy and IV therapy services, a sexual health clinic, community dental care, radiology, adult psychology, older people’s mental health, and child and adolescent mental health services.

In one of the most surprising stories of the year, the Welsh Government brought Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) out of special measures after five years (December 2, ‘Health board leaves special measures). Health minister Vaughan Gething said on November 24 that the troubled health board would immediately move into targeted intervention. BCUHB chairman Mark Polin said BCUHB was “encouraged by the growing confidence in our plans” for long-term improvements but “there is much more to do”.

Click here for part one: Year in Review Rhyl Journal.