Initial work will involve discussing and receiving ideas from the residents before creating a draft design.
The work is part of an exciting regeneration package developed in the town that includes a project to develop a 'wet weather' tourist attraction, gallery of local talent and a centre for the creative industries in the Market Hall.
Another part of the package is the Antur ‘Stiniog project to develop cycling tracks in the area, whilst the Ffestiniog Railway is eager to develop and improve their station.
Another part of the strategy is Prosiect y Dref Werdd that’s working to reduce the carbon footprint of the town and improve the areas environment.
Blaenau Ymlaen is also working with Tourism Partnership Mid Wales on developing a comprehensive training programme aimed towards the towns’ tourism sector.
The town centre is the next project. The overall aim is to improve the look of the town for residents and visitors, in order to develop and support the areas economy and its environment at the same time.
The intention is to build the regeneration package on themes such as history, culture, heritage and language.
The first step is to create plans for the development, involving the community and their ideas.
Bob Cole the chair of Blaenau Ymlaen’ strategic group said:
”A lot of visitors arrive in the area every year but their economic contribution to the town is very low. The challenge is obvious, increase the value of the sector for the town’s traders.”
Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones added:
“This is a most welcome step forward in improving the quality of life and prosperity of all our communities in line with our ‘One Wales’ programme of government.
“This exciting project will enhance the attraction of Blaenau Ffestiniog and assist economic development of the local community,” said Mr Jones, who is Minister for the Economy and Transport.
Miller Research and the local artist, Howard Bowcott have been appointed to lead on the work of redesigning the town centre. There are opportunities for local residents to take part in the process over the next few months.
A first drop-in session to hear the initial thoughts of the area’s residents will be held on the 29th of October from 2pm to 7pm in the Cyfle offices at the corner of Lord Street and High Street. All residents are welcome to come and voice their ideas!
Gwynedd Council and the Welsh Assembly Government are funding the work and initial designs are expected to be completed in Spring 2009.
Gwynedd Council’s leader on Economy and Regeneration, Dewi Lewis said:
“Blaenau Ffestiniog has a wealth of history and culture and it’s good to see local community groups working together for the benefit of the town and the wider area.
"Our aim, by working together and developing an innovative regeneration program is to support the businesses and the community in the town and ensuring that Blaenau has an exciting future to look forward to.”
“It’s very important that local residents and the areas businesses have a say in what is designed, their support is the key to the success of the scheme. We hope that a number of residents and businesses from Blaenau Ffestiniog drop by on the open day to give their opinions and to share ideas.”
Local Gwynedd Councillor, Gwilym Euros Roberts added:
“I very much welcome this development and I’m confident that the work will improve the look of the town centre and will be huge boost for the areas economy.”
Additional information on the development can be obtained by contacting Gwynedd Council’s Ffestiniog and Eifionydd Regeneration Officer, Pryderi ap Rhisiart on 01766 512499 or by visiting www.blaenauymlaen.org