Vale of Clwyd MS Gareth Davies has called for greater support from the government to revitalise his hometown of Rhyl, urging a renewed focus on tourism as key to stemming wider coastal decline.
Speaking during a Senedd debate on how to regenerate seaside towns, Davies highlighted the ways in which Welsh resorts could compete with affordable foreign travel, noting “we can’t do cheaper but we can do better.”
“The decline I’ve witnessed in Rhyl has also been echoed in other towns across the Welsh coastline, and, unfortunately, governments at all levels have not taken sufficient action to halt this decline,” said Davies.
“The title of this debate poses a question: is restoring our seaside towns to their former glory a necessary task or an impossible ask? I don’t believe it’s impossible. It certainly won’t be easy, but if we all work together – local government, Welsh Government and the UK Government, alongside the leisure and travel industry – then we can compete.”
During the eight minute speech, Davies challenged leaders to “think creatively and work collectively” in order to create a year-round offer.
“We are a nation steeped in history, abound with fantastic folklore and deep mythology, but we’re absolutely terrible at selling it, and that’s the problem.”