1. ITV Report

The changing face of Rhyl

Sea defences have been developed at the water's edge Photo: ITV News Wales

The couple from Derby are braced against a sea breeze that's turned into a gale, ambling down the prom in the West End of Rhyl. And they seem to be thoroughly enjoying themselves.

"Twenty two quid for a B and B; it's cheap and cheerful, isn't it? The Blackpool of North Wales. Needs a bit of attention, though".

Which is exactly what Rhyl's getting - and about to get. Take the same stroll and you'll notice the new, impressive coastal defences that make you focus on one of the most beautiful stretches of beach in Wales. Look up and you can't miss the giant crane that's helping to build a new harbour - and bridge - work costing £10 million.

Then turn a hundred and eighty degrees, and you're staring at what the statisticians say is one of the most deprived wards in Wales. West Rhyl. What used to be boarding houses given up to the private flatlands or simply to the boards of construction sites where the construction itself seems to have stalled.

For hundreds of thousands of people, the first sight of the town was the funfair; a huge wooden rollercoaster stretching up into the sky. Five years ago they raised the site - to build a hotel and supermarket. And then the recession hit; and people weren't in a mind to spend their way out of it. So now, it's just a few acres' worth of level ground, rubble, and brambles.

But some money has arrived; sixteen million pounds worth to improve the look of West Rhyl, to landscape some parts and improve social housing. It's needed. The figures show there's a permanent wave of temporary residents. Over seventy per cent of the houses are in the private rental sector. Just ten per cent are owner occupied. The houses prices are far below what they could be - which historically has made it more economical for developers to buy them then turn them into flats.

Five minutes' walk away - past the now defunct Professor Peabody's playplace where the word fun has literally been stripped from the 'fun centre' sign - you come to a huge block in a great position on the seafront. Covered with protective netting; boarded up - it's what used to be the Welsh Rock Shop, a tattoo parlour and the Honey Club. A surreal combination which will, in two years, be replaced by a new hotel - providing forty jobs for locals.

Individually, these new developments will all make some difference; collectively, they have the potential to make a huge difference. Not just in terms of cash - with £30 million of public and private money being spent - but in terms of momentum. It's a statement of faith, backed up with hard cash.

At one end of the West Parade, the bingo caller echoes out his numbers; at the other end, the echo of investment with the noise of the harbour cranes. It's a positive sound.