Down-at-heel town set for revival in bid to halt decline

Reporter:

Matt Jones

AN ambitious action plan has been drawn up aimed at reviving the centre of a Flintshire town.

Under the scheme for Holywell, hundreds and thousands of pounds would be spent on such things as increasing free parking provision, reintroducing traffic to the pedestrianised High Street, redeveloping the Tower Gardens area, erecting a statue of St Winefride and creating a strong markets, events and festivals programme.

Holywell Town Partnership discussed a study document which said the spiral of decline had been fuelled by car parking charges, the growth of empty shops and a lack of investment contributing to a down-at-heel feel.

And with more than a third of the High Street empty or filled with non-retail units, the town centre may never return to full occupancy.

But plans to enhance the visitor experience with better access, shops, parking and tourism links are also contained within the document.

Partnership board chairman Stephen Hughes, of Peter Hughes Footwear on Holywell High Street, said: “This will change the future of the town. Some funding has been put in place and there have already been some projects, but we aim to do more in 2011.

“The document has been very well received. We are now going to use it as base evidence to discuss the future of Holywell. This gives us an advantage.

“For some of the funding we have to get our applications in by the end of January. The town’s infrastructure is good. It just needs tweaking.

“We are a very keen bunch of people who want to enhance the future of the town. There is a lot going for the town; we have St Winefride’s Well, the Greenfield Valley, the Dee Estuary and the Greenfield Dock.”

Mr Hughes said there would be further discussion before the end of the month to decide on specific funding applications but described it as an ongoing project with more funding and projects to come.

Grant applications will now be made to bodies including Flintshire Council and the Welsh Assembly Government.

The town partnership includes county councillors, town councillors, local businesses and voluntary groups and was set up as part of the town action plan
process being led by Flintshire Council.

See full story in the Leader

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on

Characters left: 1500

Most Read