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Seaside renaissance

Once famous for its beaches and promenade, Colwyn Bay had seen better days.

Project Colwyn Bay waterfront, Wales

Client Conwy County Borough Council

Expertise Project management, environmental impact assessment, civil engineering

Its beach was fast disappearing and the waterfront was a pale image of its former glories, with the A55 separating the town from the sea and what was left of the sand. For an economy built on tourism, the dwindling number of visitors was a disaster.

Reinstating the beach with 1Mt of dredged sand and creating a new and inviting promenade has helped to turn Colwyn Bay’s fortunes around. Tourists are returning and residents are benefiting economically.

During construction, contracts totalling almost £850,000 were awarded to local businesses and more than half the money was spent on staff. Nine unemployed people were engaged on the project, while a new watersport centre and restaurant provide ongoing employment opportunities.

Overall, the project aligns with the goals of the 2015 Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act, to create a more prosperous, resilient, healthier and equal Wales.

Architectural design and technology students from Wrexham Glyndŵr University prepared concept designs for a new concession facility on the revamped promenade as part of their second-year coursework. Nichola Hilton's design was selected and built. She has since graduated and is now employed by a local architectural business.


lorry movements saved by reusing existing material

Existing hazardous coal-tar contaminated tarmac was hydraulically bound with a cementitious base onsite and used as fill, achieving 100% diversion from landfill rate for all tarmac waste, reducing the amount of virgin aggregate required and saving an estimated 55, 522km in lorry movements. More than over 420m2 of discarded paving from other council projects was used for the scheme, saving 35,789kgCO2e.

Solar panels and low flush WCs with automatic lighting and ventilation have been installed in the new concession building, which achieved a U rating below 0.20 W/m2K, while electric vehicle charging points, solar powered parking meters and LED lighting populate the promenade. Carbon savings compared with a similar conventional scheme total 651tCO2e - a 30% reduction.

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