FLINTSHIRE’S eight town centres will be put under the spotlight in a survey to measure their performance.

Information on footfall, empty shops, the number of retail and non-retail premises, business confidence, visitors’ opinions and where shoppers are from will be collected in Mold, Flint, Holywell, Connah’s Quay, Shotton, Queensferry, Saltney and Buckley.

Council bosses hope the move will provide an insight into how town centres are performing and what can be improved.

Medwyn Roberts, Holywell town centre manager, said he welcomed the survey.

He said: “This is a good idea. Without knowing what the problems are it is difficult. What we have been doing in the past is thinking we know what needs to be done.

“Once we know what the problems are then we can tackle them with resources.”

A programme of events held in Holywell over the summer including the Well Inn music festival, a street Olympics and a car boot sale have all helped increase the number of visitors to the town.

Mr Roberts said: “I think Holywell has seen an improvement. The events have brought in extra people, even simple things like the car boot sale.

“There are practical solutions to get people into town centres.

“It offers new shopping patterns, bringing in people who have not been to the town for a long time.

“What Holywell has done works. This pro-active approach shows it can work.”

Deeside College tourism students will help with the visitor survey element of the data collection.

Julia Jones, tourism lecturer at the college, said: “Deeside College already works closely with Flintshire Council in many ways and we are really pleased about this new development.

“By working with colleagues from Flintshire on a real task will be of huge benefit to our students and staff.”

A business survey will also be distributed over the next few weeks.