Page last updated at 12:12 GMT, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 13:12 UK

Ideas wanted to regenerate town

Market Hall
Creative industries could move into the old Market Hall

People living in Blaenau Ffestiniog in Gwynedd are being asked for ideas to regenerate their town.

Initially the town renewal scheme aims to collect ideas from townspeople to create a draft design.

Suggestions already being put forward include the development of a "wet weather" tourist attraction.

The regeneration is backed by the Welsh Assembly Government and has been mooted for quite a while, but now townspeople are being asked to get involved.

Bob Cole, the chair of Blaenau Ymlaen (Blaenau Forward) 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," he added.

'Quality of life'

Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said he welcomed the step forward to improving quality of life and prosperity.

"This exciting project will enhance the attraction of Blaenau Ffestiniog and assist economic development of the local community," he said.

Gwynedd council's leader on economy and regeneration, Dewi Lewis, said the town had a wealth of history and culture.

"It's very important that local residents and the area's businesses have a say in what is designed," he added.

Local Gwynedd councillor Gwilym Euros Roberts said he was confident the work would improve the look of the town centre.

"It will be a huge boost for the area's economy," he added.

The first drop-in session to hear the initial thoughts of the area's residents will be held on 29 October from 1400 - 1900 BST, at the Cyfle offices , on the corner of Lord Street and High Street.

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