Flintshire attraction is in need of the ‘wow’ factor

Reporter:

Matt Jones

MOLD’S historic Bailey Hill needs the ‘wow’ factor to transform it into a thriving tourism hotspot.

Ideas including a ski lift to improve access, a sculpture garden and a reconstruction of the motte and bailey castle have all been suggested as part of a consultation event.

Scores of residents and interested parties visited the 11th century settlement site for the consultation where they were given tours of the area and treated to a barbecue.

Claire Halestrap, a landscape architect at Harrison Design Development was on hand to talk to visitors.

She said: “Some of the things we are looking at are improving access to the site and publicising it. Bailey Hill is a really important area for the town.

“It feels quite secluded and dark in places. You also need something that is a bit of a ‘wow’ factor to pull people in. We do not know what that is yet, we are still trying to get some ideas.

“The play area could be improved with a much-more natural and historical theme.”

More than 70 questionnaires had been handed in before the consultation, with many more submitted during the event.

Harrison Design Development will take the ideas and form a plan to bring back to the public and stakeholders including Cadw and Flintshire Council for further consultation.

Mold resident Sian Williams was a regular visitor to the site when she was younger.

She said: “A ski lift could be used to improve access. Things like a tea garden or a mock-up of the castle with a climbing frame and there could be a sculpture park to display the work of artists. There are endless possibilities.

“There are terrific views here, it has been neglected in recent years. Cittaslow Mold has done some work here fencing it off. There has been a start.”

It is hoped funding for any development works could come from a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Dog walker Steve Keider of Mold, said: “Bailey Hill is a really good resource for the town. I would like to see it used more.”

Other ideas discussed included improved disabled access, a picnic area and a wildflower meadow and woodland trail.

See full story in the Leader

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