The vision for Rhyl comes from a collaborative effort between people from public, private and community backgrounds with a deep interest in creating a better future for the town centre.
It is based on the issues highlighted by local people and the suggestions, solutions and ideas of a great many more.
The process of developing this vision has brought co-ordination and clarity of purpose to efforts to support a brighter long term future for the town and the document itself is intended to be used as a consistent reference point for decision makers, developers and investors that will speed up the process of regeneration in the town.
It sends a clear message to residents and the wider world that confidence in and perceptions of Rhyl town centre are changing – and will continue to change – for the better.
A successful vision requires a holistic approach, drawing on a broad range of
subjects, both tangible and intangible. With this in mind, five areas have been identified as key drivers for the future regeneration of the town.
Following a brief summary of the current situation and subsequent aspirations for each of the topic areas, the vision begins to bring each of these five ‘threads’ together and sets out what the future might look like.
“We’re not turning our back on what makes Rhyl special, we’re embracing it. We’re working from what’s here and what’s good, but we also want to expand and renew the offer. It’s about all year round animation – events, exhibitions, entertainment, performance and adventure. It’s energetic, exhilarating and surprising”
The appearance of the environment is key to how people feel about a place.
Rhyl town centre currently suffers from poor-quality public realm. This is predominantly due to a lack of greenery, run-down shop fronts and neglected buildings, poor quality street furniture and signage with a lot of clutter and mismatched styles.
Our aim is to create an attractive, safe and welcoming place, where people want to spend more time. We want to create a place residents can be proud of.
In order to achieve this we are aiming for:
• Co-ordinated public realm with a consistent & simple approach to street & pavement surfaces, street furniture and signage
• Street clutter removed
• More planting & greenery with year round interest
• New open spaces & remodelled existing spaces with links between the town centre the sea
• Iconic public art
• Improved building frontages
• A lighting scheme for key buildings & features
• A robust management & maintenance programme for the public realm
“The seaside is about attractions, things to do, places to have fun and be entertained. Rhyl needs to renew its core leisure offer both for visitors and for people from the town and the wider area”
Our experience of getting into and around a town centre plays a big part in our willingness to use it. Most people now approach Rhyl via the A55 and A525, entering the town centre from the south over the railway line, before heading through a series of signal controlled junctions.
The existing traffic system doesn’t cope well with this as it was built to cater for a heavy east-west traffic flow at a time when the A548 Coast Road was the main access route into Rhyl.
The relatively complex one way system makes routes to parking and the seafront circuitous, with visitors often complaining about a lack of clear signage.
To address this we want to:
• Identify better arrangements for prevailing traffic flows to access the town centre
• Consider opening up at least some of the High Street to northbound traffic
• Improve pedestrian and cyclist connectivity between the seafront and town centre
• Completely redesign the area of highway between the town centre and the seafront, simplifying the exiting layout, reallocating road space to pedestrian and cyclists.
• Improve directional signage and parking provision around the town centre following changes to traffic flows
Rhyl town centre, like many others across the UK, has seen its high street decline over the last 15 years. Pressure on household budgets, changes in consumer spending habits and competition from other places has reduced the number of people using the town centre, making it harder for businesses to survive. This is not where we want to be.
We want to bring about a significant increase in town centre footfall by:
• Strengthening the town centre with brands that fit the new Rhyl
• Supporting quality independent cafes and coffee shops, family restaurants and street food offers
• Encouraging good quality bars (with good behaviour) and live music
• Developing a wider range of popular leisure activities
• Improving the number of better paid jobs on offer in the town centre
• Creating new, modern spaces for people to set up in business and grow
All of these things will help bring back a wider range of customers with higher disposable incomes and greater spending power.
Successful town centres should include a mix of different uses which help to
create life and activity from morning to evening. Not only does this help to create a varied and vibrant place to live, but it also contributes to improved
perceptions of safety. Residential development within town centres is an essential part of creating the right mix.
Our aim is to turn Rhyl town centre into a place where more people want to live by providing a choice of quality homes. We want to do this by using vacant space or through making better use of occupied town centre space.
We want to:
• Create an environment which enables and encourages private sector investment
• Raise the quality of residential conversions by establishing modern contemporary spaces
• Encourage the use of vacant upper floors for residential use
• Encourage higher design quality by promoting creativity
• Improve the character and quality of the town centre to raise long term property values
• Encourage redevelopment of suitable sites within the town centre for new residential use
The upkeep and cleanliness of our town centres strongly influences people’s perceptions of them as places to live, visit, shop and invest.
Ensuring that buildings, streets and open spaces in the town centre are well-maintained and cared for is an essential component of the longterm vision for Rhyl.
To achieve this we will:
• Engage businesses and property owners in understanding their legal responsibilities and improving the look of their buildings
• Take a robust approach to enforcement in the town centre. We will not hesitate to use a variety of legal powers to ensure that properties are maintained to an acceptable level
• Ensure that our enforcement approach is coordinated, consistent and transparent
• Work closely with the Rhyl Business Improvement District to improve and maintain the cleanliness of the town centre