Chapter 5 in People, Places and Policy: Knowing contemporary Wales through new localities, pp 95-118

This chapter examines ways of understanding and knowing north Wales, which in this instance, constitutes the six local authorities from Wrexham in the east, through Flintshire, Denbighshire, Conwy, Gwynedd, to Anglesey in the west. It encompasses the coastline of north and north west Wales, Snowdonia National Park and deep rural areas to the south of the locality. In particular, it is linked by the A55 trunk road from Chester to Holyhead docks; but with a large, less accessible hinterland away from the coastal A55 corridor (see Figure 5.1). We outline some of the key ways in which different parts, or localities, within north Wales are seen to connect or relate to each other. We examine different ways of constructing north Wales, for example, as divided by a rural north west and industrial north east, as linked by transport connections, and as cross-bordered. We consider how these situated understandings of locality shape, and are shaped by, specific factors including demographic changes and mobilities, economic and community regeneration as well as questions concerned with national identity and the Welsh language. This endeavour is based on a number of data collection exercises, including a baseline audit of available secondary data; interviews and focus groups with local governmental organisations as part of the WISERD stakeholder interview series; and small-scale qualitative fieldwork.