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

The outcome of the Ruthin Market Town of the Future project consisted of a vision and three themes, each with a series of linked projects around the vision:

“Ruthin is a small town with big potential.  The town prides itself on its history, heritage and landscape.  It aims to become a sustainable, creative and connected market town with a high quality built and natural environment.”


To achieve this vision, three themes were highlighted:

Public Spaces for Public Life; Creating a Heart for Ruthin:

Outdoor spaces should be the social heart of the town.  These spaces need to be diverse enough to encourage a wide range of activities and be of high quality to reflect the heritage and aspirations of the town.


Centre, Periphery & Hinterland:

Creating an attractive and safe network of safe walking and cycling routes linking the historic core and the suburbs and linking the key locations in the town.


A Distinctive Ruthin:

Developing Ruthin’s distinctive assets to make it individual and identifiable from other towns and cities.  This is a combination of people, places, ideas, industries, climate, culture, history and a vision for the future. 

An approach of incremental regeneration was proposed- as and when funds become available and not requiring large pots of money to implement.  This offered the town the best chance of pushing forward.  Achieving early wins by incorporating ongoing projects and getting small projects underway was used as a way of gaining momentum for the project and making the community support the vision.



AuthorMatthew Jones