North West Wales

Holyhead views sought to help regenerate town

Image caption Anglesey council said it recognised the town was going through difficult times

Residents and firms in an Anglesey town are being asked for ideas on ways to attract visitors and boost investment.

Views are being sought to help shape the regeneration of Holyhead at a series of events on Thursday.

The area has been hit hard by store closures but has had some success in finding new tenants.

Anglesey council said it recognised the town was enduring tough times and needed to improve its fortunes.

Jim Woodcock, the council's head of planning and Holyhead lead officer, said: "Town centres need to be distinct and find a new way of attracting visitors and shoppers.

"Finding local solutions is therefore key to Holyhead moving forward.

"We would therefore greatly value input from the local community and businesses when meeting the consultancy team on the 4th April, and help us shape the emerging ideas in creating a bright future for the town centre."

In 2009, Holyhead had the highest vacancy rate of any town in the UK with 39% of premises vacant.

However, an empty shops scheme run by a Communities First project has helped secure several new tenants and won an award for its work.

The Plas Cybi Partnership negotiated large rent reductions with the landlords of empty stores before sprucing up the sites and finding new tenants.

By 2011 the vacancy rate was reported to have fallen to 28.4%.

In June 2012 a £100m redevelopment of Holyhead Marina including new homes, a hotel and a maritime museum was given the go-ahead.

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