A major construction company described yesterday as a sad day for Denbigh following the selection of the developer for the former North Wales Hospital site.

Jones Bros, in conjunction with North Wales Building Preservation Trust (NWBPT), were chosen as the preferred developer ahead of Signature Living who had also put forward a proposal to restore the site to its former glory.

Lawrence Kenwright and Signature Living's proposal included two hotels, a number of homes and a centre of excellence all while keeping the original site.

The proposed transformation work was set to create more than 200 jobs in the area while also creating over 100 apprentices a year for the community out of the centre of excellence.

But this will now never come to fruition following yesterday's decision.

Signature Living Chairman Lawrence Kenwright said: “I feel it is a sad day for Denbigh, they have lost an amazing opportunity to give 450 jobs to the local community and bring a huge amount of tourism to an area that desperately needs a catalyst to bring it back to its former glory.”

A Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK spokesperson said as a Denbighshire based company they had always cared about helping the growth of the local economy and were pleased to be selected for the former North Wales Hospital site redevelopment.

The firms first step will be to conduct site investigations to improve their understanding of the site and make the site more secure. From there Jones Bros will finalise development plans and a planning application for the site.

The spokesperson added: "We are keen to manage expectations of local people and so stress that this is the start of a lengthy process involving all key stakeholders, including Denbighshire County Council.

“We expect the complete redevelopment to take several years. The site has had a number of owners, during which time it has deteriorated, and represents a complex and challenging project.

“We aim to balance the preservation of the existing buildings with ensuring the project is viable.

“However, we also want to assure local people that our partnership is serious about regenerating this landmark site, and we are going to start work immediately once the CPO and transfer of the site have been completed.”