Plans to expand Parc Eirias to deliver major pop concerts and sporting events
Richard Evans, local democracy reporter
Pop concerts and professional sporting events could take place in Colwyn Bay every weekend if plans to extend the capacity of Eirias Stadium get the go-ahead.
Conwy’s cabinet has agreed to approach the UK Government for a £20m Levelling Up Fund for Clwyd West – money it hopes can be used to transform Eirias Stadium into a major sport and entertainment venue.
Already the stadium has hosted pop concerts featuring the likes of Olly Murs, Tom Jones, Lionel Ritchie and Little Mix.
Now the council hope the fund, which is available to every local authority in the UK, could be used to extend the stadium’s capacity, boosting the economic aspirations of the whole county.
The £20m fund for the Clwyd-West constituency will be shared by both Conwy and Denbighshire.
Denbighshire is also putting its £10m into the fund. That £10m is ringfenced for projects in Denbighshire.
Eirias Stadium currently has a capacity of 6,000 for sporting events and 15,000 for concerts.
A separate £20m bid in Aberconwy will also be submitted and is likely to include an art project and a cycle route linking the coast and Conwy Valley, from Llandudno to Betws y Coed.
These plans are at an earlier stage as the council focuses on preparing one bid at a time.
The support of both Aberconwy and Clwyd-West MPs Robin Millar and David Jones is needed for the bids to be successful, and both back the projects.
Cllr Louise Emery is the cabinet member for the economy and approached the cabinet with the plans, which received unanimous backing.
“What we are focusing on on our side is the next stage of Eirias Stadium for Park Eirias,” said Cllr Emery.
“This is something which we have been working on for many years, and we are looking at building the stadium to be even larger in order to support events, sporting and professional events.
“We know that we’ve held some great pop concerts over the years, which we’ve all been to.
“There is the ability now if we increase the seating, if we change the layout of the stadium, to start having more people to come to these concerts, which means you can attract bigger acts, which means it becomes a much more financially viable location.
“And the idea is that it is a location that has an event on every weekend, whether that be a rugby match, whether that be athletics, whether that be a pop concert.
“We know the economic benefits of these events. If we can make that more continuous, rather than one or two concerts a year, and a rugby season, they are going to see a real economic benefit, not just for Colwyn Bay but the whole of the county and across Denbighshire as well and the region, so it’s very exciting.”
Cllr Greg Robbins is the cabinet member for transport and was excited about the cycle track plans.
“This really does give Conwy a unique opportunity to bring forward transformational schemes that will improve the (Conwy) valley experience,” he said.
“With this potential funding, this gives us the opportunity to link Llandudno down to the valley, potentially to Betws y Coed, potentially even further.”
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