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Hovercraft could return to north Wales coast

Back in 1962, Rhyl made a little bit of aviation and maritime history - it was the first destination for a scheduled hovercraft service in the world.

It might have only lasted a summer, but history's turned full circle with two different bidders hoping to operate hovercraft connecting north Wales with the Wirral and Liverpool - a business plan now that could be a reality in less than a year. Rob Shelley reports.

Hopes for hovercraft on north Wales coast

Hovercrafts like this one are already being used to carry passengers in Scotland. Credit: Michael Boyd/PA Wire

A hovercraft service could soon return to the north Wales coast after more than 50 years, if proposals go ahead.

Bidding is currently underway from two companies, to operate crossings between Rhyl and the Wirral.

If plans go ahead, it could mean passengers could use the scheduled service, and complete the trip in just 30 minutes.

Draft licences have already been granted by Denbighshire County Council, but a full licence is needed in order for the hovercrafts to land on Rhyl beach.

It's been more than 50 years since the world's first commercial hovercraft service made its maiden voyage from North Wales.

The 'flights' ran on a 19-mile route on Rhyl and Wallasey on the Wirral.

It took 24 passengers, and cost £2.


Phone lines down at Ysbyty Gwynedd after storms

Calls are currently being taken by staff at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. Credit: ITV Wales

Managers at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor have said that staff at the hospital have been working "extremely hard" to ensure patient care continues after phone lines were knocked out following heavy rain and lighting.

Lines are still down following yesterday's storms and are calls are being transferred to staff at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd near Rhyl. It's unknown when lines are expected to be working again.

"We have been resolve the problem and work is continuing with staff andcontractors on site...Staff are working extremely hard to keep all services safe and operational with the support of radios, pagers, mobiles and other specialist phones." - Betsi Cadwaladr spokesperson

Dolphins seen off the coast of north Wales

Bottlenose dolphins have been sighted off the coast of north Wales. Credit: Laurence Clark

Dozens of bottlenose dolphins have been spotted off the coast of north Wales.

Although dolphins are not uncommon off the coastline, it's rare to see them so far north. It's believed more and more are swimming north for quieter waters. Many have been spotted as far north at Rhyl and Conwy.

Volunteers for the Sea Watch Foundation have been surveying the area after a number of recent sightings.

Many have been seen off the coast of Rhyl and Conwy. Credit: Laurence Clark
It's uncommon for dolphins to be sighted so far north. Credit: Laurence Clark
Volunteers have been surveying the area since the sightings. Credit: Laurence Clark
Dolphins are not uncommon in our waters, but are seen further south in areas like Cardigan Bay. Credit: Laurence Clark

Rhyl water main undergoing 'emergency repairs'

Homes and businesses effected by a burst water main in Rhyl should have their supply returned this afternoon, Welsh Water says.

Customers in Rhyl, Kinmel and Abergele are currently without water, after a burst on a key water main in Rhyl.

We were alerted this morning to a burst on a key water main in Rhyl. We immediately sent a team to the site and are now carrying out an emergency repair. This is impacting on water supplies to customers in Rhyl, Kinmel and the Abergele areas and we apologise for any inconvenience.

It is estimated that water supplies will begin returning to normal later this afternoon whilst we undertake the repair. This may result in discoloured water for a period of time. This is not unusual after an incident of this nature and should clear within a short period of time. We would like to assure customers we are working as quickly as possible to restore supplies to normal.

– Welsh Water

Anyone with concerns about their water supply can call Welsh Water's helpline on 0800 052 0130.


Burst water main closes Denbighshire schools and buildings

A burst water main in Rhyl has caused the closure of a number of schools and buildings in Denbighshire.

The closed schools are:

  • Ysgol Brynhedydd
  • Ysgol Christchurch
  • Ysgol Emmanuel
  • Blessed Edward Jones High School
  • Project 10 &11

Closed council-run buildings include:

  • Rhyl Pavilion Theatre
  • Oak Tree Centre
  • Rhyl Library
  • Toilets at Rhyl Town Hall

Rhyl Mayor 'gobsmacked' by royal couple donation

The Mayor of Rhyl has said he was "gobsmacked" after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge donated £5,000 to help flood victims in North Wales.

Andrew Rutherford revealed on Facebook that the royal couple had made the donation to the town's flood appeal.

A Clarence House spokesperson confirmed that the pair had made the private donation, but declined to comment on the amount.

I was gobsmacked when the letter arrived but it goes to show that when you keep the awareness of an issue in the media things can, and do, happen. Thank you William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

– Andrew Rutherford, Mayor of Rhyl

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge help for flood victims

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge used to live in Anglesey Credit: PA

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have donated £5,000 to help flood victims in North Wales.

Andrew Rutherford, the mayor of Rhyl, revealed on Facebook that the royal couple had made the donation to the town's flood appeal.

A Clarence House spokesman confirmed that the pair had made a private donation but declined to comment on the amount.

The Royal couple lived on the island of Anglesey when they were first married, and the nearby seaside town of Rhyl was severely affected by storms in December.

Charity's cash offer to open your own shop in Rhyl

Carnegie UK Trust says up to £10,000 is on offer to the best idea. Credit:

A project has been launched to encourage young people to consider opening a high street business to help revitalise "flagging" town centres.

One town where the charity the Carnegie UK Trust is targeting 16 to 30-year-olds by offering to help with ideas for opening new shops is Rhyl.

The charity hopes that thousands of youngsters will apply to be part of its TestTown initiative, which will be held this summer.Regional winners will receive £500 start-up funding, while the national winner will get £10,000 to invest in a business.

Jim Metcalfe of the Carnegie UK Trust said, "TestTown will demonstrate that imaginative, youthful thinking can help our flagging high streets. It will show young people that they can realise their potential and create great new businesses.

"There is chronic youth unemployment in the UK and the sight of vacant shops in our town centres is something this initiative aims to change."

Other towns and cities involved are Manchester, Middlesbrough, Kirkinilloch, Bury St Edmunds, Perth and Coleraine.

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