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North Wales business district unveils future plans after securing £2million for Bay regeneration

A BUSINESS enterprise has leveraged almost £2million of investment for the Bay of Colwyn and funded events attracting more than 100,000 visitors since being formed three years ago.

And Colwyn BID (Business Improvement District) has unveiled plans for more projects to support communities and companies in Rhos-on-Sea, Mochdre, Colwyn Bay and Old Colwyn over the coming 12 months.

Ambassadors are being recruited to further engage with the hundreds of firms in the area and feed back on where they believe money should be spent, what schemes will benefit the Bay of Colwyn and how best to generate revenue for private sector representatives.

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A new Wales Rally GB speed stage of the FIA World Rally Championship will take place along the promenade in October – which has already led to many guests houses and hotels being fully booked – and there are plans for street cleaning and road improvements in the four town centres.

Businesspeople and employees can also take advantage of discounts on tourism membership, free CPR and defibrillator awareness sessions and social media training, HR and pensions advice.

Colwyn BID Manager Cheryl Williams

Colwyn BID Manager Cheryl Williams – named Business Leader of the Year at the 2019 Conwy Business Awards – says they are determined to establish services and initiatives that have a positive impact and a lasting legacy.

“The levy payers have been consulted on what they want to see and how best to move the BID forward,” said Cheryl, the first accredited BID Manager in Wales.

“But we want to engage more with them and hopefully attract better numbers to our networking events and drop-in sessions.

“The ambassadors will be out in the community meeting with businesses regularly as part of our communication and engagement initiative and can feed their opinions directly to the BID office so we know what will have the greatest impact on them, their town and the community.”

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She added: “The BID has faced its challenges but ultimately we want everyone to get behind us and have their say on how best to take it forward, for the benefit of the Bay of Colwyn and the many fantastic business owners and employees we have here.”

Among the schemes to have already been successful are the 20% public transport discount for levy payers and employees with bus company Arriva; installation of nine defibrillators and training for more than 100 people in how to use them; new bus stops in Mochdre; the painting of more than 450 metres of railings and fencing, and more than 10,000 hours of additional maintenance work.

The next phase of that is about to begin in Old Colwyn, as part of a ‘mini-regeneration’ project.

Leveraging up to £2million for the local economy is a notable highlight, which includes £520,000 of additional funding above the levy investment.

And with a new marketing officer in place, Cheryl believes past communication issues will be resolved, starting with a new-look website.

“The BID has come in for criticism previously as some projects would only impact on a certain area or there have been delays beyond our control, namely the multi-agency project for signage in Mochdre,” said Cheryl.

“Following a positive meeting with the local council, who had no objections, I am confident the resubmitted application will be successful.”

She added: “While you cannot please everybody it is about maintaining a balance and pushing ahead with ideas and initiatives that make a positive and lasting impression, especially when it comes to jobs, the economy and supporting our communities. Being there for schools and local children is also crucial as they are the future of this area.

“When Colwyn BID was established the objectives were chosen by the businesses. Priorities change but the vision remains the same, to work together for the companies and their employees, creating something we can all be proud of.”

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