A major funding bid that will help reverse the decline of Holyhead town centre and spark its regeneration has been approved by the UK Government.
Isle of Anglesey County Council submitted its successful multi-million-pound bid to the Levelling Up Fund in August 2022.
The UK Government announced (Thursday, 19 January) that the Holyhead bid was among those successful following a competitive bidding process.
The "Holyhead: A culture and heritage driven transformation" bid will help reverse the decline of the town centre, and increase pride of place for residents. It will help transform the town by securing £22.5m of investment, including £17m from the Levelling Up Fund, and deliver more than £54m in benefits to the local community.
The bid included an exciting package of projects to increase employment; improve the town centre offer and visitor experience; increase footfall and spending; provide modern floor space to meet business needs and increase access to the arts, culture and leisure.
The island’s largest town, Holyhead has some of the worst deprived neighbourhoods in Wales. The successful bid will now see key local assets enhanced to make the area a better place to live and visit.
The Holyhead bid was closely aligned with the objectives of the Levelling Up White Paper and deemed the only one with a credible chance of support and success in the competitive bidding process.
Isle of Anglesey County Council worked in partnership with Holyhead Town Council, Môn CF, Ucheldre Arts Centre and the Church in Wales to understand the area’s needs and present a package of interventions in and around Holyhead.
The Levelling Up Fund is a competitive funding programme assessed and administered by the UK Government. Local Authorities are the only body who can submit applications to the fund which covers three key priorities; supporting town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, and cultural and heritage assets.
The "Holyhead: A culture and heritage driven transformation" bid was submitted following an initial expression of interest process and having carefully considered the UK Government funding criteria.
Key components of the bid
The key components of the bid include:
• A substantial extension to the Ucheldre Arts Centre - to provide better facilities and greater capacity to enable this key cultural institution to grow its programme and reach more people.
• The renovation of St Cybi’s Church, the Grade 1 listed star of Holyhead’s heritage assets and Eglwys Y Bedd, which will expand into a community hub, helping local people and bringing more activity into the heart of the town.
• A substantial extension by Holyhead Town Council to the Empire Play Centre - the town’s main indoor attraction, to cater for increasingly higher demand and the renovation of the Newry Beach Frontages improving facilities for locals and visitors alike.
• Môn CF will embark on a property restoration programme, targeting some of the largest and most prominent vacant properties and creating sustainable vibrant new community uses, ensuring that these buildings are saved for future generations.
• The Isle of Anglesey County Council will extend the highly successful Townscape Transformation programme, refurbishing dilapidated town centre heritage properties helping to reverse the decline of the town centre.
• Further enhancements to the Breakwater Heritage Visitor Centre, including improvements to routes and public realm, routes and links from the Country Park back to the town centre, allowing more people to learn about the heritage of Holyhead, Holy Island and Anglesey.