A scheme to revitalise the Colwyn area is putting up new advertising signs at four business parks to encourage shoppers to support local traders.
The initiative in Mochdre is the latest project from the team behind Colwyn Business Improvement District (BID) which includes Old Colwyn, Colwyn Bay, Mochdre and Rhos on Sea.
It will see old, out-of-date and dilapidated signs at four trading estates replaced with new hoardings, to tempt shoppers through the door.
The idea was first mooted by Syd Gaskin, who has run family firm Gaskins Carpets and Beds on Mochdre Business Park for the past 20 years.
He said: “There is a dire need to improve signage around the business parks, so people can see what is available on their doorstep, rather than heading off to shop in Llandudno or Rhyl. We have a great group of businesses here, many which are open to the public, from builders’ merchants and granite suppliers to delivery companies and car parts.
“The sign for this estate was out of date when I first moved in, and very little has been done to improve the signage, despite the fact we’ve asked for it many times. The main sign still refers to companies that have closed or moved, and doesn’t mention the new ones that have opened, so people have difficulty in finding where they want to go.
“So I am very pleased that Colwyn BID is now taking action on this – and it’s something that can be rolled out to the other business parks in the BID area.
“Although Conwy County Borough Council and the landowners, where the signs stand, are keen for the BID team to take over the signs, it is taking a while to get everything in place but we hope that the new signs will be unveiled by spring.
“They will include directions and maps so people can easily locate the companies they want, and will provide free advertising at the same time. The signs will also be in a format that is easy to update, such as when a new company moves into an empty unit.”
Business in Rhos on Sea, Old Colwyn, Mochdre and Colwyn Bay voted to set up the BID, where firms pay a levy and the cash raised is used for projects to boost trade.
BID project manager Anna Openshaw said: “This is part of our campaign to encourage shoppers to Love Local and support the businesses that are on their doorstep.
“Our overall aim is to increase footfall and local spending in the businesses that are part of the BID. We can see that Love Local initiatives are already working very well in Denbighshire, with schemes in St Asaph, Llangollen and Denbigh so we believe it will be of great benefit for companies here.
“We are also planning Love Local campaigns for the main shopping areas of Rhos on Sea, Old Colwyn, Mochdre and Colwyn Bay, with a unified branding that people will recognise.
“The business parks are a little out of the way for some people, so making sure potential customers know what companies are based there, when they pass by, is key in encouraging shoppers to think about popping in to see what’s on offer.
“For example, there’s no point in making a lengthy trek to a DIY superstore in Llandudno or Rhyl when there are builders merchants and hardware stores close by in Mochdre, offering a wide range of items that are good value for money.”
Colwyn BID chair Huw Edwards said: “The BID is an exciting opportunity to promote the area and was created after a significant majority of the businesses in the four towns voted in favour of the scheme.
“As a result, we are now able to collaborate to put the Colwyn area on the map and we are working to attract more visitors to the area – both local customers and tourists.
“For those businesses based away from the main town centres we are planning a series of initiatives that will benefit them, including training courses and help with maintenance.
“Also, as the BID is still getting underway, we are keen to receive suggestions from companies about what they want to see happen.”