North East Wales

Rhyl harbour £9.2m plan is council's 'most expensive'

Artist impression of bridge
Image caption The crossing would link Rhyl with Kinmel Bay over in Conwy

A proposed £9.2m development of Rhyl's harbour area has moved a step closer after Denbighshire councillors voted to approve progression of the plans.

The Rhyl Foryd Harbour plans include a bridge, quayside units, a public square and improvements to the High Street.

The regeneration at the seaside resort has been called "the most expensive project ever undertaken" by the council.

The projects will mostly be funded by Europe, with a target date of 2013.

Councillors voted unanimously to "approve the progression" of three capital projects towards detailed designs and finding contractors, in order to "maximise the harbour's potential".

A report, discussed by councillors, said the £9.2m has been allocated from the Welsh European Funding Office through the Welsh Assembly Government.

The proposed Foryd cycle and pedestrian bridge alone will cost an estimated £4.2m.

If approved, it will span 80m (262ft) across Rhyl's Foryd Harbour and walkways will lift to let boats pass.

The harbourside units and public square will cost an estimated £3m, with £1.8m earmarked for high street improvements - although the total cost of improving the street is thought to be up to £7m.

In the report, the authority's chief financial officer said: "This is a very large and complex capital project.

"It is probably the most expensive project ever undertaken by the council and is also the first time the council has built a structure of this kind.

Bridge names

"This brings with it inherent risks."

The report added: "This project is subject to a time-bound grant offer.

"Should the project go over budget or completion slip significantly then there is a risk that the council will have to pick up the additional costs which could be substantial."

Denbighshire council held consultations over the project and invited suggestions for bridge names on its website.

Those submitted included Seagull, Horizon Pass, Pink Lights, Pont Newydd, Foryd and Rhyl Gateway.

Among other suggestions made on the council's website include: "Don't build the bridge across the river - it will be the death of the Foryd Harbour as we know it", and "This is only for holidaymakers only - not for locals".

Other comments and suggestions included building a cafe or restaurant to encourage people to visit the harbour area.

Another person said: "Any improvement that will bring visitors back to a neglected area will be appreciated."

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