Prestatyn’s economy is characterised by many small businesses and strong business networks. Major employment sectors are in the Public sector (2538), Wholesale and retail trade (1202), Construction (610), Accommodation and Food (591) and Manufacturing (587). Tourism has a strategic significance to the local economy bringing revenue to the area through retail trade, accommodation and food spend. There are a number of long standing tourism assets such as the beaches, golf, walking and cycling opportunities, accommodation offer and holiday parks at Presthaven sands and Pontyns. Leisure and tourism facilities have also enjoyed substantial investment in recent years with major redevelopment of the SCALA, NOVA and North Wales Bowls Centre all benefiting.
In recent years retail too has seen significant investment with a new retail park opening in the town. Some concerns were raised about the potential impact on high street shops but the data shows that despite an initial increase in vacant town centre properties to 10% this has subsequently improved to under 7% in 2015 which was the lowest level since 2010 and well below the national average.
When estimates of income and deprivation are considered we see that Prestatyn is a mixed community with some areas (Prestatyn East and Prestatyn Central 1) having higher median household incomes than Denbighshire, and others (notably Prestatyn Central 2) having lower. Like the county as a whole, incomes reduced during the financial crisis of 2008 onwards and have yet to return to pre-crisis levels. Unemployment in Prestatyn is low compared to other parts of the UK.
Education and skills are a crucial enabler of prosperity. The Prestatyn & Meliden Area has 4 English medium primary schools: Bodnant Community Primary, Ysgol Penmorfa, Ysgol Clawdd Offa and Ysgol Melyd; and a Welsh medium primary school Ysgol Y Llys. The area is also home to an English medium secondary school Prestatyn High. In common with other Denbighshire secondary schools, Prestatyn high school has seen significant improvement in recent years but there is now concern that the pace of improvement is not keeping up with that of other areas. It now performs relatively poorly in terms of the percentage of pupils achieving the core subject indicator at both Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 3.
Skills are more difficult to measure skills in the working age population, but we can see from the 2011 census that Prestatyn had a smaller proportion of the work force with higher qualifications (NVQ level 4 and above) and a larger proportion of people with no qualification when compared to England. Participants in the community conversation suggested that a diverse range of education opportunities should be developed are to meet a growing need for a hands on, practical skilled workforce. There was also an expectation of growth in the creative industries.
The Prestatyn Area contains a number of significant sites of natural beauty, biodiversity and scientific interest. Currently restoration work is being undertaken on the SSSI grasslands across Prestatyn Hillside. Gronant Dunes Special Protection Area is home to a number of rare species notably the Little Tern Colony which is a vital asset for a species that has experienced decline internationally.
A number of community schemes, in the area, aim to enhance environmental resilience while promoting community spirit and social wellbeing. These include Coed Y Morfa Community Woodland and Community Food Growing Area which is now an attractive area in the heart of Prestatyn with excellent walking/cycling and volunteering opportunities. Future plans include the development of Meliden Goods Shed into a vibrant Community Hub and promote the outstanding recreational, historical and biodiversity interests in the immediate area.
Prestatyn also hosts major off-shore wind turbines producing renewable energy, contributing to the battle against carbon emissions and climate change. Increasing climate variability and extreme weather events bring with them an increased risk of flooding incidents to all coastal towns including Prestatyn.
19% of Denbighshire’s population reside in the Prestatyn area. A similar (20%) proportion of the county’s social service clients reside in the Prestatyn area. This includes 24% of the counties adult carer clients, 22% of the counties leaning disability clients and 20% of the counties PDSI/Frailty clients.
Prestatyn has a high proportion of older people which is expected to rise. Accompanying this is an expected increase in age related illnesses such as dementia and an increase in people requiring assistance with personal care, mobility and everyday tasks.
Prestatyn includes key assets and examples of social care and health collaboration and integration. Nant y Mor Extra Care housing and planned Healthy Prestatyn Iach development.
Healthy Prestatyn Iach seeks to replace traditional approaches to primary care with a new social model. The new model will offer a same day service for urgent same day problems; the replacement of Individual (traditional) GP-led ‘lists’ by KeyTeams looking after more patients but with;
- A KeyTeam coordinator
- Occupational Therapists
- Nurse Practitioners
There will be 4 main KeyTeams coordinating and providing long-term care, each with a list of around 5500 patients. Also there will be a home care, domiciliary and advancing frailty team. Finally the scheme will include an Academy, which will evaluate the new model and have a role in commissioning and organising input from partner agencies.
Active leisure opportunities can help people achieve healthy lifestyles. Facilities include:
- The redeveloped Nova centre where there has been investment in the swimming, fitness and soft play offer. Over 1,000 members are regularly using the fitness suite, the swim lesson programme is growing and the soft play facility is full to capacity at peak times.
- The North Wales Bowls Centre which continues to be popular following its refurbishment attracting over 16,000 visits last year.
- Planned improvement to the Prestatyn and Dyserth Health Walks to encourage healthier lifestyles, and
- Improve the start/ end of the Offa’s Dyke National Trail at the Nova.
In addition a wide range of sporting and recreational activities are available within the community, such as Prestatyn Tennis Club, football club, cricket club, three outdoor and one indoor bowling venues, ten pin bowling at Frith beach, walking for health and Prestatyn Rambling Club.
Each ward in the Prestatyn Area displays a very large proportion of people who identify their ethnic group as White at 97-98%. This is larger than the proportion in Wales (96%) and the proportion in England (85%). In the Prestatyn Area 29% of residents identified as British which is the same proportion as for Denbighshire as a whole. More people identified as English (36% in Prestatyn compared with 23% in Denbighshire) and fewer as Welsh (41% compare with 51%).
All of the wards in the Prestatyn Area have larger proportions of their population who are disabled or experience a limiting long-term illness than it the case in Denbighshire, Wales or England. A Disability Sport programme is in place for Prestatyn with inclusive activities at Prestatyn Athletics Club.
There is little research about other protected characteristics that is specific to the Prestatyn area. Nevertheless, many of the challenges faced by different groups, described in other parts of this assessment, are likely to affect some Prestatyn residents too.
In common with other part of Denbighshire and Conwy rates of crime and anti-social behaviour are low. Our County Conversation engagement event provided opportunity for community feedback. Participants felt that established community groups were seen as key to future developments but it was recognised that there was a need for workshops and guidance on topics such as funding, training, project management, and other sources of advice and support. Specific suggestions included:
- Denbighshire County Council facilitating / processing DBS checking for volunteers.
- More intergenerational volunteering opportunities.
- Developing a single definitive list of groups and organisations, with up to date contact details.
Prestatyn has a large number of active community and voluntary sector groups providing services, volunteering opportunities and managing a number of buildings and facilities. There are also a wide range of Churches and Chapels providing space for worship and community activities.
In particular there are a large number of Community Events including Flower Festival Vicarage garden, Life’s a Beach, Prestatyn Carnival, Prestatyn Walking Festival, Prestatyn Classic Car and seasonal events.
Participants in the county conversation felt that the availability of affordable and social housing was a key issue for the future.
Examples of recent investment in housing stock and adjacent environment include the Caradog Road site where good quality communal garden spaces to the rear of the properties with paved seating areas, wider paths for better access, raised planters, trees and hedge to screen the railway line and shopping area, have been developed. The area to the front of the flats was enhanced to create a more attractive streetscape.
In Denbighshire as a whole 35% of people over the age of 3 reported having one or more skill in the Welsh language. The proportion who speak, read, write or understand Welsh in Prestatyn is lower. It is highest in Meliden (29%) and lowest in Prestatyn North and South West which comprise neighbourhoods ranging from 22% to 14%.
Cultural assets include the SCALA Prestatyn, which has a long history as a theatre, performing arts and cinema venue and benefits from a recent redevelopment. Prestatyn library was also recently developed as a modern paper based and digital information resource and pint of contact for the public and public service providers.
The area boast a rich heritage including a Roman Bath site, the masterwork of dark-age engineering which is Offa’s dyke and its modern beginning / end statue and a range of Victorian and Edwardian listed buildings including several churches, chapels and other structures and the iconic Hillside Gardens Shelter.
The range of heritage, cultural and environmental assets and developments provides Prestatyn’s contribution to a Globally Responsible Wales. Sustainability principles will be implemented through the Wellbeing Plan, Local Development and Regeneration Plans, biodiversity and conservation work.
A specific example is:
Youth Workers work with organisations that support children and young people from Chernobyl to experience life in North Wales. Young people and families develop a wide appreciation of globalisation responsibilities and the impact of people.
This post is also available in: Welsh