Mold’s Sense of Place study was commissioned to gather an understanding of and a better focus for a sense of place.  The project aimed to build on the local distinctiveness of the town and identify how the town could be developed for the benefit of residents, businesses and tourists, following Cittaslow principles.

Mold is Wales’ first Cittaslow town, an international movement to enhance quality of life in small towns, which grew out of the Slow Food movement.  Towns must undergo a strenuous assessment against 75 criteria to be recognised as a Cittaslow town, primarily examining the environment, enforcing identity and place, promotion of healthy living and local produce and active community involvement.  Mold gained Cittaslow status in 2006.

The Sense of Place study examined several aspects of the town: marketing and competitiveness, exploring what assets add to distinctiveness, how effective the retail draw is and what can be done to improve its competitive condition; A townscape character analysis, exploring architecture, character and identity; and a public realm appraisal looking at gateways, public spaces and streets. From this analysis a vision and proposed projects emerged around the themes of Visiting & Shopping, Streets & Places, Activities & Enjoying Mold, and the Heritage of Mold.

Sense of Place has given the town a framework to carry out improvements in Mold, as and when money has become available, such as projects for New Street car park and Daniel Owen Square. It also means that project partners, like Flintshire County Council, are aware of what scope there is for change in the town and its surroundings. The outcome has been a working document that is an integral part of the future of the town.


  • Client: Cadwyn Clwyd
  • Partners: Flintshire County Council, Cittaslow Mold, and Mold Town Council.
  • Consultants: Heritage Initiatives Ltd, Alan Brown Associates, Harrison Design, Cleaveley Associates
  • image credits: 01 - c Heritage Initiatives; 02 & 03 - c Heritage Initiatives & Harrison Design Development
AuthorMatthew Jones

A simple idea- using empty and unproductive spaces to grow food- has inspired people in Todmorden and beyond to reconsider where their food comes from and how simple moves can transform public space.

The idea driving Incredible a Edible is simple: if you eat, you're in! Incredible Edible was founded in 2008 by a group of individuals in Todmorden concerned by the changing economy and climate change.  The idea is to use unproductive spaces to grow edible plants- from window boxes to roundabouts to canal embankments.  Incredible Edible is a community-led project delivering action through strong leadership that aims to focus community, learning and business on the production and consumption of locally grown food. 

The first propaganda gardens, as the team call their beds, were made on 'in your face' sites around the town where they were obvious. Made without permission, the gardens became a part of their place and despite initial reservations the 'pick your own' concept has evolved and been accepted by the town. 

Derelict land, public spaces and leftover corners have become areas for cultivation: vegetables sit alongside ornamental plants in public planters and flower beds; 200 fruit trees have been planted in the town centre, along with 500 fruit trees in a community orchard; raised beds have been planted around the town; and schools have developed growing areas and access to bee hives and poly tunnels. Projects have been created on a shoestring; for example, timber for early raised beds was sourced for free from building sites.

Results have included a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour, improved relationships between the community and the police, food education in schools and new ways of looking at space. A simple idea has led to a variety of offshoot projects: new horticulture and agriculture based college courses, projects with housing associations, a new permaculture centre and even vegetable based tourist routes around the town! The aim by 2018 is to make Todmoden self sufficient in vegetables, eggs and orchard fruit and to enable the town to source as much else as possible from the local area. 

The idea has caught the public imagination and has extended from Todmorden, across Yorkshire to the rest of the UK and beyond; there are now 37 further Incredible Edible towns in the UK.

The Plas Cybi Partnership, a community-owned regeneration organisation, approached owners of vacant shops to discuss rent-free periods for vacant shops.  The aim was to implement quick fixes in vacant units, both internally and externally, and working in collaboration with the County Council and Enterprise Agency to attract entrepreneurs into the town centre.


Established in 2007, the Llanmadoc community shop was the response of a small community on the Gower peninsula to the closure of its last shop ten years ago.  The community founded a not-for-profit cooperative to run a local shop, providing a wide range of fresh goods, groceries, frozen and chilled goods, an off license, a post office and a bakery.