My notes in January mention three building projects that I hoped would come to fruition this year. One has : – the prestigious apartments near Rhos Point are complete , and very attractive too, with some already sold. The Rothsay Hotel is now demolished and good progress being made in what is to take it’s place. Work on the redevelopment of the Aberhod Restaurant site is painfully slow. I shall have to show patience in waiting to see completion on this prominent location.
I am disappointed with the present state of the tunnel/bridge under the railway by the entrance to the pier. There is new paving from the railway station , down under the bridge to the promenade, which looks good. But the walls and ceiling have been ignored. This , to me, is like putting new carpet down in your living room when the wallpaper is hanging down and the ceiling is flaking. As far as the walls are concerned I would invite all the schools in the area, even Llandrillo College, to paint murals thereon – or let local businesses use the walls to advertise themselves.
Porth Eirias could still be regarded as having monetary problems. However, I was delighted to see that in early July, quietly and without fuss or fanfare , Bryn Williams opened his long-awaited attractive Bistro, complete with interesting menus, a bar, and separate coffee and snacks area.
Before I air my problems , there are three queries I would be interested to know the answers :
- How much energy is produced for the building by the two wind turbines found on the site
- . How many registered key holders are there to the property ?
- Now that the catering facilities are up and running, what is the need, or recognised purpose, of the central ‘reception desk’ in the middle of the place ?
To move on to my perceived problems,- we are all ’stakeholders’ in this multi-million pound project, and it is in everyone’s interest that the full financial potential of it will always be an on-going target. The area originally earmarked as two possible retail outlets bringing in two rentals , has presently been turned into one big ‘ glory hole’.
I have been fortunate enough to see the running costs of Porth Eirias for the year April 2014 to April 2015. With running costs totalling £ 125,000 and income of only £ 19,000 it has cost Conwy County Council (us) almost £106,000 to run the complex for a year.
One of the fixed expenses payable annually is rent to the Crown Estate of £10,000. Further to that, the Crown Estate terms say that 10% of Gross Annual Income is also payable. This year Gross Annual Income was almost £20,000 – which meant a further payment to Crown Estates of almost £2,000. When Porth Eirias reaches it’s full potential as a ‘ business venture’ , offering assorted facilities, one could foresee a Gross Income from the four sources within the building ( Watersports rental, Bryn Williams rental,, Learning Zones rental and Retail Units rental ) reaching, say, £50,000, of which £5,000 goes automatically to Crown Estates. With all four areas within the building being occupied by tenants, then the existing staffing costs of £44,000 should almost disappear, as each tenant will be paying for it’s own staff. Also, I would suggest that cleaning costs of over £6,000 (cleaning changing rooms and toilets ) could be shared amongst the four tenants. – Just my thoughts !
However, it is good to note that the ramp at the Old Colwyn side of the site , for so long remaining incomplete, is almost finished.
The PIER. It’s future remains to be a ‘waiting game ‘. We must wait until October, when Mr Hunt continues his High Court battle, claiming ownership of the pier. Also , we must wait until November when the ‘Save the Pier’ brigade re-apply for millions of pounds from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
From me to you – A fond farewell. The results of the above actions will be noted by another member of the Civic Society whose updates of our website will probably more interesting than mine have been !
Jim Lowe, Hon. Secretary, Colwyn Bay Civic Society.