North West Wales

£2.6m lifeboat station under way in seaside resort

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Media captionArchive footage shows the Llandudno RNLI all-weather boat being towed through the resort town

Work is finally beginning on a new RNLI lifeboat station for Llandudno, after two decades of delays and planning battles to find a site in the town.

The £2.6m station will be built at Craig-y-Don on the Victorian resort's North Shore.

It will house the latest £2m Shannon class all-weather lifeboat, which is expected to be delivered in 2017.

The current boathouse is landlocked on a busy street, with the lifeboat towed through the town to the sea by tractor.

Image copyright RNLI

"All the crew are delighted - it's been the culmination of over a 20-year search for a new lifeboat station," said Capt Marcus Elliot, the RNLI's volunteer operations manager in Llandudno.

"We operate from a very cramped station in the centre of the town, and the new lifeboats that are being put out would not fit in that lifeboat station.

"Had we not acquired this new site, the all-weather lifeboat service - which has been in Llandudno since 1861 - would have come to an end."

Image copyright RNLI
Image caption An artist's impression of the new Llandudno RNLI lifeboat station

Plans for a new lifeboat house in the town have been under discussion since the 1990s, with original plans to site it near Llandudno Pier thrown out by planners back in 1998.

It left the volunteer crews stuck in their Lloyd Street station, which they describe as no longer fit for purpose.

In addition to the length of time it takes to drag their Mersey class lifeboat through the streets before it can be launched, there are inadequate changing, drying, training and meeting facilities at the boathouse.

"To get to this stage really is the realisation of a dream to everyone involved with Llandudno RNLI," added Capt Elliot.

"We would like to thank the large number of people who so kindly took the trouble to show their support for the RNLI's planning application by calling, phoning, posting items on social media, writing letters and emailing - your support was invaluable and has been greatly appreciated by everyone at Llandudno Lifeboat Station."

The RNLI said it hoped to complete the new station in about 14 months, when it will become operational with the new Shannon boat.

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