Developing a new health facility in Holyhead town centre would be a significant step in tackling the primary care crisis affecting the area, but could also boost the economy in the town centre, according to Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for Ynys Môn Rhun ap Iorwerth.
A disused site in the centre of Holyhead which formerly was home to Woolworths has been touted as a possible site to develop a multidisciplinary health centre in the town and the Ynys Môn AM raised the possibility in discussions with the Health Board last week, before raising the matter in the National Assembly today.
Responding to a Welsh Government statement on supporting town centres, Mr ap Iorwerth welcomed any initiatives to ensure that there is investment in our town centres, adding that he looks forward to working to see how we can take advantage of this, and outlining an idea for the centre of Holyhead that could help solve the ongoing GP crisis, and also provide economic benefits.
Mr ap Iorwerth said:
“It’s important, of course, in planning our town centres, that we work across various departments and bring different public bodies together. There is a crisis in primary care in Holyhead at the moment; the health board has taken over two surgeries because of a shortage of doctors, and we do need to build a primary care service anew.
“It’s been drawn to my attention that the old Woolworths shop in the middle of Holyhead—the kind of site that could be ideal for opening a multidisciplinary health centre—would be perfect, because of the kind of building it is, in the town centre and there’s parking available. It would then bring people in as footfall to the centre of Holyhead in a way that could cause economic regeneration.
“Other options are being considered, of course, but I have put forward that idea, as it was drawn to my attention, to the health board, and I hope that the local authority will take it seriously too. That kind of initiative is one that truly ties in a number of elements that we need to do in order to have an impact on our town centres, and it deserves detailed consideration.”