Rhyl Town Centre Vision: Eight Big Ideas 

The 8 big ideas are based on the Key Areas of Focus, the 4 Biggest Issues and the 4 Biggest Assets that we talked to more than 2,500 local people about over a 12 month period in 2018-19.

When we re-shared the 8 big ideas at the beginning of 2019 feedback was really positive! We thank all those that took part in shaping the ideas and those who continue to take part in making them a reality.

1. Reunite the beach and the Town Centre

The beach is one of Rhyl's greatest assets. Improving the relationship between the beach and the town centre will be essential to the future success of the town.

The Waterfront: The principles

  • Extend the High Street all the way to the beach
  • Potential to include new landmark or destination feature on the beach
  • Bring down the existing pedestrian bridge to open up visual links to the beach
  • Redesign the roundabout and East and West Parade to improve pedestrian connectivity to the beach
  • De-clutter the Parade
  • Incorporate courtesy crossings at regular intervals to improve and encourage pedestrian movement between waterfront destinations (e.g. SC2) and the rest of the town centre
  • Widen the pavement in front of the Queen's Buildings to encourage internal uses to spill-out into the street, creating a lively and vibrant environment
  • Exploit the events arena! Encourage community events and greater use of this existing asset
2. Expand the existing recreational-led offer and diversify the choice in retail and food

Rhyl already has a number of recreational attractions, including the new SC2 waterpark, which is on track to attract an additional 200,000+ visitors to the town per year. The recreational offer should be expanded upon to create a wider range of popular leisure activities for all ages.

A quality retail and food offer (utilising the great local produce of North Wales!) with independent shops and cafes, family restaurants, street food, quality pubs and live music will all help to make the town centre a welcoming and inclusive destination for all, whilst also creating jobs for local people.

3. Create a busier Town Centre throughout the day and into the evening

Introducing a healthy mix of uses alongside the retail and commercial offer, including offices, co-working space and high quality residential development will help to ensure that there are feet and eyes on the streets throughout the day and at all times of the year. This will contribute to increased footfall for local retailers and a safer environment for everybody.

It will also help to improve the number of good quality jobs within the town centre, transforming Rhyl into a bustling and a vibrant place all year round.

4. Create civic spaces to be proud of

Rhyl deserves beautiful, functional public spaces that people want to visit and locals can be proud of. The vision places an emphasis on the Town Hall Square and the High Street as key destinations within the town centre.

Town Hall Square

The Town Hall Square should be the heart of the town; a beautiful, identifiable and accessible space that celebrates the architecture of the town hall and draws people in.

The principles:

  • Create a focal point - a new epicentre for the town in its rightful place
  • De-clutter the square; create a stage-like setting that honours the architecture of the town hall
  • Extend the 'carpet' of the square up the surrounding building façades - consider the space holistically
  • Make it identifiable and accessible to all - "Meet me at the Town Hall"
  • Create an attractive and safe environment in which to wait / meet / gather
  • Make pedestrians a priority - consider pedestrian flows and desire lines (particularly Queen Street and Market Street)
  • Make it flexible - a place that can accommodate civic events and gatherings
  • Light the Town Hall - give it presence at all times of the day/night

The High Street

The High Street is one of the key connectors between the town centre and the beach, yet this relationship is currently severed as soon as the High Street hits the Parade.

Redesigning this key intersection, along with enhancements to the existing streetscape will transform the high street into a bustling destination to be proud of.

The principles:

  • Re-connect with the beach
  • De-clutter
  • Green the street - introducing street trees if possible
  • Explore the reintroduction of one-way traffic towards the waterfront
  • Consider creating a balanced street with a narrow carriageway, wide pavements and courtesy crossings at regular intervals
  • Encourage shops and cafés to spill out into the street creating a lively and vibrant environment
  • Provide integrated on-street parking and loading bays
  • Simple, high quality palette of materials Introduce high quality residential development above retail units
5. Create great places to spend time, whatever the weather

Come rain or shine, Rhyl needs attractive and sheltered spaces for people to spend time in. Enhancing the town's sheltered east-west streets, creating attractive new courtyards and cosy indoor spaces would encourage people to stay in the town centre, even amidst the worst of the Great British weather!

Sussex Street, Queen Street Corner and Market Street: The principles

  • De-clutter
  • Pedestrian priority route with continuous surface material from facade to facade
  • Accommodates service vehicles one way
  • Take advantage of sheltered environment (particularly south facing market facade) - introduce street trees and encourage dwell-time
  • Encourage Queen's Buildings and surrounding uses to spill out into the street
  • Accommodate pop-up events / street markets
  • Potential for catenary lighting to create attractive, human-scale evening environment
  • Create key node at intersection between Sussex Street and Queen Street - narrow carriageway and widen pavements to create spill-out space on four corners
  • Use of lighting to accentuate the four chamfered corners

Sussex Street and Queen Street Corner

Queen's Buildings Courtyards

6. Transform the Queen's Buildings into a vibrant community asset

The Queen's Buildings are a key catalyst project in the regeneration of the town centre. The proposals currently include a contemporary market at the heart of the site, along with a mix of high quality retail and food outlets, offices and an open courtyard.

The project will act as a key connector, providing better access and movement between the waterfront and the town centre. The project is subject to planning approval and further public consultation.

7. Make it a destination for locals... the tourists will follow

Focus on the local community first. Local people are the lifeblood of town centres and there is great opportunity to re-engage them in spending time and money in the town centre by providing the right offer.

A town centre that provides for and is loved by its locals will be used year round and soon attract visitors from far and wide.

8. Create opportunities for the local community to shape their town and raise aspirations

This is really important to us. It is about how the Vision is delivered and by whom.

Empowering local people and businesses to take ownership of their town centre is one of the best ways to ensure respect, resilience and individuality within a town. By providing opportunities for the local community to shape Rhyl's town centre, it is hoped that a sense of pride and purpose will emerge among the community, contributing towards making the town centre more welcoming and, in turn, attracting investment, tourists and shoppers.

We believe that the presence of the Business Improvement District and Town Council Offices within the town centre, along with the visibility of the Tech Hub by the station will help to raise aspirations and deliver local action that begins to transform people's perceptions of the place.

If you would like to request a PDF copy of the Vision, please email us at econ.dev@denbighshire.gov.uk.