a Wrexham builder has started on a new £1.2 community hub and tourist attraction in a North Wales village.
Over the next 12 months, an abandoned goods’ shed on the old railway line at Meliden, near Prestatyn, will undergo a 21st-century transformation by contractor WD Stant.
Charitable housing association Grŵp Cynefin and Meliden Residents’ Action Group are behind the revamp of the Grade II listed building on the Prestatyn to Dyserth walkway.
A community and tourist hub complete with shop, café, heritage centre, bike hire facility, allotments, time tunnel and artists’ workshops will be created, breathing new life into the building and creating jobs, volunteering opportunities and an outlet for budding artists to showcase their talents.
Mair Edwards, community initiatives manager at Grŵp Cynefin, said: “For 12 years, Meliden Residents’ Action Group has worked tirelessly to see this old shed restored.
“Not only will this be a development which supports the village, but it will be invaluable for the 60,000 people - walkers, cyclists, and families - who use the walkway every year, making the building a tourist facility too.
“Artisans will also benefit by having a showcase for their goods, providing support for the local economy and a much-needed outlet for micro-businesses.
“It has been a long journey for those involved in the project but that determination to succeed is paying off.”
The building - to be called Y Shed - was an integral part of the Prestatyn-Dyserth three- mile railway line until it closed in 1957, reopening briefly as a business premises before shutting again.
Its redevelopment has been made possible thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund Wales, Denbighshire County Council, and trusts.
Cllr Peter Evans, Denbighshire county councillor for Meliden and a member of Y Shed’s steering committee, said: “Meliden has been crying out for a venture of this kind – one that will provide business opportunities for local people, be a valued attraction along this much-used walkway and in turn bolster the village economy.
“That first spade in the ground represents an important milestone ensuring the goods’ shed will no longer be a blot on the landscape but a valuable asset at the heart of our community.”
The building work will be carried out by Wrexham-based contractors WD Stant which has a background in restoring buildings such as Y Shed.