A CONTROVERSIAL £500,000 revamp of an ailing town square could start next month.
Mold’s Daniel Owen Square is to undergo work to include a raised performing arts platform as well as better facilities for market traders.
Traders whose businesses will move while the work takes place have accused Mold Town Council of ‘keeping them in the dark’ over the plans – a claim denied by Mold town centre manager Dave Hill.
The work, which will take 16 weeks to complete, is set to begin at the end of July.
The redevelopment includes the repositioning of the statue of the 19th century Welsh novelist after which the square is named.
“The redevelopment is on schedule,” said Mr Hill.
“Funding has been agreed with Flintshire Council and the work will begin during the last week of July.
“There have been some issues with traders being displaced but we are very sensitive to the fact that this has to be managed properly.”
He rejects any suggestion that the market traders have been kept in the dark as “untrue”.
Mr Hill confirmed traders affected by the work will be temporarily repositioned along Earl Road, Upper High Street and King Street while the work takes place.
He said access to all other businesses surrounding the square, as well as the town library, will be maintained throughout the period of works.
The revamp is scheduled to finish in time for Mold’s Christmas lights switch-on on November 26.
The moving of the iconic Daniel Owen statue to the centre of the square is also expected to unearth a 1970s time capsule.
Mold town councillor Chris Bithell, who is also Flintshire Council’s cabinet member for education, said: “The capsule was placed inside the statue in 1974 when it was initially moved to the square.
“I don't think anyone envisaged the statue would be moved again quite so soon but we are hoping to add to the contents of the capsule when the work takes place.”
As well as designing the square to enable it to serve as an artistic hub for performers, anchor points and mains electricity will also be made available to market traders for the first time.
Some trees will remain while new ones will also be planted and the area will be completely repaved.
About £100,000 of European funding, received by Mold Town Council in December, will be used to help finance the scheme.
Cllr Derek Butler, Flintshire’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The project is an exciting proposal to bring more life back into an important part of Mold town centre.
“It is a key element of the town centre master plan, something that was developed by local people, Mold businesses, Mold Town Council and the county council working together.
“The council is committed to making our towns attractive and vibrant places and we are very proud of what has been achieved to date.”