This is about as much "branding" as Penarth currently gets. We're not twinned with st Pol de Leon anymore, there's no mention of the Pier - or even being a sea-side resort - and experts say nothing like enough is made of the famous "three-bears" mascot.

The “gateway” branding that Penarth currently has. Despite what it says on the sign, Penarth is not twinned with St Pol de Leon anymore. The pier, the beach and the marina don’t get a mention.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is considering proposals to “create one brand” for the town of Penarth and “widen Penarth’s offer” .

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) 'cabinet' member for regereration

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) ‘cabinet’ member for regeneration

The proposals are made in an internal council “Town Framework Implementation Update Report” from the Vale council’s ‘cabinet’ member for regeneration and education, Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines)

The so-called “Town Centre Framework” was commissioned
by the Vale Council from consultants Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners and has been “under way” since February 2014.

Many of the points made have been suggested before in various previous reports and initiatives and seem to focus on the presumed requirements of visitors and tourists, rather than those of council-tax-paying residents.

Some of the action points for Penarth are summarised under headings  below:-


Penarth Esplanade and the pier are enormous assets to the town

Penarth Esplanade and the Pier are enormous assets, but the town is said to need “one brand”-

Under the heading “Imagine Penarth” the document proposes “Creating one brand for the town.” . The idea would be to “seek to investigate potential for setting up a community group/steering group with the remit of seeking to better market Penarth as an artistic/artisan centre.” The document suggests  “a key target audience should be Cardiff day-trippers.”

Somewhat ruefully, the report notes that “This would have been a core function of the proposed Penarth Business Improvement District which failed to receive support at ballot in 2015.” [ PDN Note: A large majority of local businesses in Penarth voted against the proposal to set up a Business Improvement District (BiD for short) . The votes were:- For 48 Against 86.]

The report says that Penarth Town Council’s so-called “Momentum Group” has now taken on the role which would have been fulfilled by the defunct Business Improvement Scheme – and praises the success of the two “Picnic Penarth” events held to date .


The Hartons Coaches open-top double-decker runs between Penarth and Barry from Windsor Terrace via the Esplanade in the summer.

The Hartons Coaches open-top double-decker runs between Penarth and Barry from Windsor Terrace via the Esplanade in the summer.

The report also suggests “exploiting Penarth’s unique surroundings and other attractions to capture benefits for the centre by encouraging internal and sustainable connections
between the town and beach and carrying out a review of sustainable (cycling, bus and pedestrian) connections between centre and neighbouring areas”.


The Vale Council wants to see a livelier Penarth town centre at night

The Vale Council wants to see a somewhat livelier Penarth town centre at night

The document also proposes  “widening Penarth’s offer” by diversifying daytime and night-time offer so that it caters for visitors and supports the brandand “building upon Penarth’s unique qualities seek to investigate mechanisms for
encouraging appropriate temporary Night-time Economy uses” .

As possible examples it citesnight market, outdoor theatre etc. stemming from its role as a historic seaside resort.” [PDN Note The term “night-time economy” is police/local authority jargon for retail businesses which trade after dark.] 

The document proposes to Seek to relax restrictions on opening hours for certain business types (i.e. those uses not just focussed on drinking or takeaway uses) within Penarth –particularly in relation to Sunday trading as this represents a key time for visitors/tourists to Penarth.”

The Vale Council says its licensing policy and is “designed to support development of town centre economies in balance with issues of disorder and public nuisance. The policy encourages applications from establishments which provide food, and a family based environment”


The "Gateway to Penarth" is just a forest of poles and road signage

The “Gateway to Penarth” is just a forest of poles and road signage

The report proposes a “review of gateway approach into the centre from neighbouring areas with a view to considering how these may be improved –e.g.approach along Windsor Road, approach along Beach Road etc.”

It says that “There are plans for gateway improvements into the town from Cardiff being considered for 2016/17 and 17/18″. [PDN note :There is no mention of the poor air quality in the Cogan Dip on Windsor Road – and  existing Air Quality Management Area there which remains in force.]


Double yellow lines on Beach Road are ignored when people want to park on the front - where the Vale Council demolished Penarth's 20 year old multi-storey car park .

Double yellow lines on Beach Road are ignored when people want to park on the front. This is  where the Vale of Glamorgan Council demolished Penarth’s 20-year-old multi-storey car park . Now the council now admits there isn’t enough parking provision in Penarth.

The report proposes to “investigate and identify opportunities for new car parking provision in/on the edge of the [town] centre.

However the report says There are currently no active plans for the town centre apart from the redesign of street parking/review of double yellow lines at some stage in future, subject to funding.” There are hints however that ways of enlarging the Cliff Top car park may be examined  “subject to funding and the outcome of the Penarth Esplanade Feasibility Study”.

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  1. Lindsay says:

    Cue a torrent of cynicism and negativity.

    • Paul says:

      Not at all. Apart from the usual buzzword of the moment nonsense, theres nothing wrong with the idea. The questions will only emerge when the detail is published. I’d love to see Penarth to have a vibrant centre after dark and more to do than just the usual pubs and takeaways open, but even these have their place. Imagine what the centre, the cliff top and the pier could look like on a summer’s evening if it was done well

  2. J Tate says:

    who needs it wish she would shoot off to barry! cloud and mist here today at the mo

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Anne Greagsby says:

    The town council should discuss these matters not the secretaive ‘momentum’ group which hasn’t achieved anything yet. We are still waiting for the new pedestrian signs. The town council refuses to disclose its membership or its minutes. Decisions by proxy. Back to basics. We need a better town bus service and parking management. All a bit rich this talk about more parking space given the actual plans for Penarth in the LDP which haven’t been discussed yet.

    • Mgg says:

      The momentum group is a partnership between the community and the council . Any plans requiring funding are avalable through the regular council channels as per any council business . There are different elements of confidentiality from council members with the non elected members of the group and that should be respected . one may note regarding secrecy how it is you are aware of the signage plans ? And bench and other plans have been spoken of publicly at pier meeting as part of a group update .

  4. Richard says:

    Is there no peace? Does everything have to be on the go 24 hours?
    If it isn’t Cosmeston to shoot arrows, it’s Penarth to wander aimlessly around “retail outlets”.
    What is the matter with people? You’d think everyone would be glad of some quiet of an evening but no, it’s got to be “Where can we go now to fill our empty lives?”

  5. Johnabutt says:

    This sounds like deck chairs on the Titanic. Just shuffle a few yellow lines, who cares about the signs at the Cogan lights? Seems that the Council would do better to get on filling in the pot holes than all this… O no that belongs to The Vale! Perhaps the Council is looking for a purpose to justify itself!

  6. Andrew Worsley says:

    Spot on Johnabutt , theres lots to be done before someone tries to justify their jobs by thinking up half baked idea and I love the gobbledegook used in sections of this report. Words such as , ‘investigate mechanisms ‘ for Gods sake whats wrong with ‘seek ways’? and ‘appropriate night time economy’ instead of the ‘ the acceptable kind of evening businesses’ . Such language is used to be vague or non committal and designed to say a lot without giving much away. Get the potholes seen to and the increasing litter seen to before engaging in flights of fancy , once again , that no ones asked for.

  7. barbara wood says:


  8. penarthblog says:

    Just an observation, but the times I’ve been to the town centre on any night of the week, the pubs, restaurants and shops seem to be pretty busy and on occasions, parking spaces have been full. So the town does have an energy about it, but more can be down in terms of marketing but the problem of parking needs to be solved. It seems that using Monty Smiths as a solution seems not to be on the cards.

  9. David Moorcraft says:

    I’m sorry, but Why on Earth does Penarth need a “Brand” ? It’s a Town, with people living their lives in it, not a Product.
    I’m less and less impressed by Cllr Lis Burnett, who now wields an awful lot of power, she has said that she has an “Agenda” , which seems to involve “improving” everything, whilst riding roughshod over all of us who point out for example that approving the building of around 1,000 new houses in the Cosmeston / Sully area will render the already difficult Traffic problems, notably at the Baron’s Court junction, unbearable.
    Apparently we’re all going to ride bikes to commute.

  10. snoggerdog says:

    hartons coaches were unreliable,but when the opentop did run the duchess of fyfe,myself and son & grandson loved it,the ride was better than the destination.

  11. penarthblog says:

    I think this is about cooperation, residents and businesses working together to benefit all and yeah I know that talk is cheap and promises are so very easily made AND broken and no one individual or groups of individuals have a monopoly on ideas. But what do we do? I regularly read the comments here and some concerns keep coming up, parking, the state of roads and pavements, street lighting and many more and that proves to me that many contributors here have a pride in the town, but there is a theme that I have also noticed with some contributors and that is a sense that our elected officers seem distant and don’t listen to our concerns from planning new housing projects to children’s play facilities. I don’t have easy answers, but one thing I do believe in is holding every single elected number to account and that means monitoring their activities. Politics is not passive as it effects every aspect of our lives and so I suppose what I’m saying is keep watching, keep complaining and on the odd occasion when they get right, tell them.

  12. Rob says:

    One of the most talented branding specialists in the world comes from Penarth – the council should get in touch with Steve Roberts from

  13. Max Wallis says:

    No need to pay consultants to review “sustainable connections” to the beach – to tell us there are no bus services to evening events at the Pavilion. Nor to tell the Council that day-time buses to the Pier get caught in congestion, and the subsidised 91 service gets stuck on the Esplanade due to cars turning to park – due to the Vale Council leaning over backwards to encourage car parking, including advertising ‘visit Penarth for free car-parking’ (our advantage over Barry, it seems).

    • penarthblog says:

      Years ago as I’m sure you’ll remember, there was a P9 Clipper service that went Town Centre-Pier-Cefn Mably-Barons Court and then back to the Town Centre. I believe it was half hourly, maybe a deal could be struck between Cardiff Bus and some local businesses to run such a service. Failing that, a two hourly 89b evening service. It been mentioned that those living on the Prom feel very isolated by the lack of evening public transport.

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