A Welsh Assembly Government minister praised a multi-million pound coastal defence scheme completed by civil engineering firm Jones Bros during its official launch.
Environment minister Jane Davidson opened the £7.6m Tywyn coastal defence scheme at a ceremony on the mid Wales town’s Victorian promenade.
She said: “I am delighted to officially open this coastal defence scheme which will protect properties and support the town’s economy.
“If we are to adapt successfully to climate change, the way we manage our shores and rivers will be critical. Projects such as this do just that and help protect the local area, homes, businesses and jobs.
“Sustainable development is enshrined in all the Assembly Government does and I am delighted that this defence scheme has had minimal impact on key areas of Tywyn beach.
“At the same time it incorporates structures that can be adapted as impacts of climate change are realised.”
The scheme, funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and European Regional Development Fund, was designed to protect residential and commercial areas of Tywyn from the risk of flooding.
Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK, which has its national headquarters in Ruthin, Denbighshire, was appointed by Gwynedd Council in 2009 to undertake the extensive coastal defence project to reduce overtopping and undermining of the seawall.
Residents in the area praised the ‘professionalism’ and ‘expertise’ of Jones Bros, who kept the local community informed throughout the work.
Indeed, the project was so well received that more than 300 local people presented a letter of thanks to the on-site Jones Bros team.
Jones Bros contracts director John Dielhof said: “Some of the key challenges on the scheme were the tidal working on constructing the concrete steps, delivery of rock for the breakwaters by sea and keeping the public informed throughout the works.
“Working on a public beach is always difficult to manage, but with our beach marshals, the visitor centre, and positive and helpful attitude from the Tywyn residents and visitors, we managed to undertake the works safely without major incidents, and handed over the beach well ahead of schedule.
“We are pleased to be associated with such a scheme.”
Cllr Arwel Pierce, of Gwynedd Council, said: “This is a historic day for the Tywyn area. As a council, we are delighted to see this long-awaited and important project completed for the benefit of local residents.
“New coastal defences are vitally important to protect homes and businesses. Indeed, we estimate that this project will reduce the risk of annual flooding for around 80 properties in the area, as well as guaranteeing the long-term sustainability of the area’s important tourism industry.”