A £200,000 investment from backers behind the Gwynt y Môr offshore windfarm is to bring steam boats and cruise liners back to Llandudno next summer.
The grant, which will help finance renovation work on the town’s Victorian pier, is the first in a series of projects funded by windfarm operators RWE npower renewables.
Major improvements on the pier’s fenders, which would allow pleasure cruiser ships such as the Balmoral and Waverley to dock, will begin next month, with the work aimed to be completed in time for next year's summer season.
Cllr Ronnie Hughes, Conwy County Council's Portfolio Holder for Tourism, said: “This is great news for the visitor economy of Llandudno and Conwy county.
“We are grateful for the support of Gwynt y Môr Tourism Fund for its important contribution, which is an excellent example of a partnership between the private and public sector.
“Tenders for the work have already gone out and we are hoping to begin next month, ready to see vessels arriving again in Llandudno as early as next season.”
Renovations will be completed with further funding from the county council, Llandudno Town Council and pier owners Six Piers Limited, bringing pleasure boats back to Llandudno for the first time since 2006 when the current set of fenders fell into disrepair.
The grant has been announced alongside a £125,000 pledge to help Rhyl's beaches get Blue Flag status.
Toby Edmonds, Gwynt y Môr project director, said: “We are delighted to be able to back the tourism industry in North Wales which, like the renewables industry, is so important to the region’s economy.
“Both are exciting, well developed projects with the potential to generate widespread interest in the local region, increase visitor numbers and consequently increase spending in the North Wales economy.”
A further £365,000 will be shared between projects in Conwy and Denbighshire during the construction of the windfarm, which is due for completion in 2014.
A further £19 million community benefit fund will also be made available once the offshore wind farm, which is one of the largest in Europe and will power around 400,000 homes, is fully operational.