Visiting Barry Island during these glorious summer days has reminded me of how far we’ve come over recent years in terms of regeneration. The place is bustling with people enjoying the sunshine and the Island is open for business.
In stark contrast, only three years ago the landscape was very different. At that point the fairground was closed and the place was in a generally depressing state. Key to Barry Island’s revival has been the re-opening of the fairground.
I am pleased to have played my role in bringing this project to life. I have done all I can to encourage investment in Barry Island and I became involved with this back in 2014 because I shared the frustration of local people in seeing such an iconic site in Barry unused and only getting worse.
I recognised that the redevelopment of this site could act as a catalyst for other projects. Therefore, I brought together all relevant parties, with fairground operator Henry Danter and representatives of the site owners HILCO agreeing to meet with me to discuss a successful way forward.
We can now see and enjoy the benefits of getting this deal over the line. Securing investment for Barry Island Pleasure Park provided a springboard for regeneration and reignited positive interest in the town. It was a success in which other local businesses could share, creating new opportunities and injecting life into Barry Island. This summer Zio’s ice cream parlour is opening on the Island and is yet another example of business thriving. Recently, I met with James Morse of Morse Affiliated to discuss plans to develop Nell's Point public conveniences into four high quality restaurants. It’s very exciting that more investment, such as this high calibre restaurant complex, has been attracted to Barry since and I am confident of more projects to come. I was pleased to introduce James to many of the biggest supporters of Barry Island to discuss the ambitious project and I believe it will make Barry Island even more appealing to locals, visitors and attract even more tourists. As ever, I am committed to working with those who are working to make Barry reach its potential.
While I absolutely encourage everyone to enjoy what the Island now has to offer and the spectacular weather while it lasts, I must point out the need for personal responsibility while visiting the beach. I was incredibly concerned to read the recent story of a woman who burned her foot on coals from a barbecue which had been left at Whitmore Bay. I urge visitors to the beach to take time to ensure that they clean up after themselves. With the same spirit behind the 2 minute beach clean scheme, which I am delighted to have seen launched on Barry Island, it’s important to make sure that items like barbecues are removed responsibly. The beach is there for everyone to enjoy, so we should all play our role in ensuring that it’s clean and tidy for others when we leave.
With this in mind, please be sure to make the most of everything Barry Island has to offer over the summer, I certainly know that I will.