The hunt is on for a pair of caretakers to ensure the Bay of Colwyn looks spick and span to attract more visitors and shoppers.
Colwyn BID, the not-for-profit social enterprise run by the local business communities, is part-funding the cost of two people to spruce up the area, matching a £10,000 grant from the Gwynt y Mor Community Trust.
BID is partnering with social enterprise Crest Co-operative, which has bases in Colwyn Bay and Llandudno Junction, to employ the two caretakers, with the aim of helping unemployed people and Forces veterans back into work.
Once recruited, the pair will share a van and will look after open spaces in the area covered by BID – Colwyn Bay, Old Colwyn, Mochdre and Rhos-on-Sea.
They will each work 22 hours a week on duties including litter picking and removing graffiti plus painting, installing and maintaining signs, railings and street furniture such as benches and planters. They will also be improving the look of derelict sites and vacant buildings.
BID project manager Anna Openshaw said: “We are really excited to be starting 2018 on such a positive note, which will bring real benefits to the four towns covered by BID.
“Improving the general look of the Bay of Colwyn is a concern that is frequently raised by our members and we want to do all we can to ensure that the area is an attractive place to visit, shop and do business, and so boost trade for everybody.
“The caretakers, once appointed, will only operate on private land to avoid any overlap or confusion with general street maintenance work that is usually undertaken by the local council.
“Our members will be able to request work for the caretakers to carry out, with a form that will be available on our website. This means that local companies will have a direct input to improvements in their area and they can see the BID’s funds being put to good use.”
The caretakers will be employed by Crest Co-operative, and subcontracted to BID, explained Jay Martin, strategic business development manager at the social enterprise, which creates opportunities for people who have become socially or economically excluded to gain life skills through real work experience, in a supported environment.
He added: “We have numerous partnerships with other organisations in the area and through these we have enabled many people to move closer towards social and economic inclusion in the community.
“We work closely with the people we support to improve both their core and work skills. In addition we are committed, as signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant, to guarantee an interview for all Forces veterans who apply for employment opportunities created by Crest and its partnerships.
“There has already been strong interest in the caretaker opportunities, and we are expecting that the successful candidates will be in post by March.
“We have a base in Douglas Road, Colwyn Bay, so it’s good to be working in partnership with BID on this project – as we have a vested interest in ensuring that the area is kept clean and tidy for the benefit of the whole community, visitors and local businesses.”
The project has also been welcomed by Niel Jones at Credent Commercial Insurance, based in Colwyn Bay.
Niel said: “We should all be proud of the Bay of Colwyn and it’s important that this area remains looking as good as possible, to encourage people to visit, shop and do business here.
“This is a positive initiative by Colwyn BID, which will also provide work for two local people.”
Colwyn BID, a not-for-profit social enterprise, is run by the business communities in Colwyn Bay, Rhos-on-Sea, Old Colwyn and Mochdre. Firms pay a levy and the cash raised is used for projects that will make the region more attractive, bring in extra shoppers and visitors, or enable companies to work more effectively.