Thoughts On Wrexham’s Art & Cultural Hub?

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    @Philip Osborne 15020 wrote:

    The V&A in London once marketed itself as “An ace caff with quite a nice museum attached!” and that’s how you need to think if you want to get the general public to look at art and culture … give them a cup of tea and a nice place to meet friends, and then they’ll have a look at the pictures on the way in!

    Precisely. There is plenty of room within the current Oriel buildings to create a quality cafe pushing local produce (another ticked box) whilst providing space for modest art displays. Dip a little further into your £800k and open up the south side to Llwyn Isaf with a glass front and you have the beginnings of an attractive community hub to compliment the library which already draws a steady stream of punters, particularly parents with small children, all through the week into the weekend. There should be enough left in the pot for a smart, outdoor play area.. now you’re starting to tap into the Alyn Waters/Plassey/Grosvenor market…

    Slightly off topic but staying within the same building, I came across this article a few weeks back and thought it was a superb idea – using library space to encourage hands-on technical innovation with hardware and software being part or fully funded by local industry. With the college being so close it could potentially work very well here..

    Books out, 3D printers in for reinvented US libraries – tech – 17 July 2014 – New Scientist



    @99dylanjones 15014 wrote:

    Alun thank for your agreement with my Posting — glad that someone with event planning has shown that figures don’t stack– really concerned that the income streams for on going revenue have not been identified.
    The use of Monkey Survey is a brilliant way of avoiding face to face contact – yes there are two public viewing session but both are timed to suite Council Employees rather than members of the public who are involved with arts and culture who invariably do so in their spare time when not working.
    The following ink is to an extensive analysis of the Culture proposal circulated by the Council that has been put together by a number of very interested parties from Wrexham who want to see the best for Wrexham. It has already been circulated by Ruth from Wrexham Business Group

    I have just read this document and it raises the questions I have!

    I went along to the ‘Consultation’ yesterday, and after my line of questioning (how do the traders feel? Has there been consideration about current facilities and potentially developing them? etc., etc..) I was asked if I had anything positive to say about the proposals………….

    This was after I practically had to kneel on the ground to look at the hand drawn pictures!

    I saw little evidence of suggestions being taken on board, and I am not convinced that any feedback from the public will actually be fed back to WCBC. There again that might be my negative view!

    I agree the Wrexham town centre needs something to attract visitors, but how about focusing on getting local people to use the town first!
    Do we know if local school children and students have been consulted? Why was this public consultation done on a Monday and Tuesday during term time and not at different times so everyone could have a chance to input?

    I don’t like to be pessimistic, but I would like to see more done to involve local people in all sectors of society. So here are some of my thoughts, in order to get all people engaged:

    -Recording studios
    -Pop-in sessions at the weekend to try new things (music mixing/sewing/Welsh tasters (food or language!)
    -Cultural/heritage exhibitions
    -Evening classes
    -Beautiful architecture (how about one lift being glass sided so we can appreciate the views)
    -Annual Schools’ Eisteddfod

    I could type all day, however I guess I might stop there!



    Looking at the plans,the small area left for traders does not seem large enough,given the present occupation of the market.The reply given to just about sums up the thought given to this project,when the reply on available space for traders is, IT IS HOPED that the market stalls would be moved to the vacant retail units.Here we go again WCBC just HOPING.Will the transformation of this part of the town result in dropping the name Peoples Market ?


    The Monitor

    It is already intended that the police department servicing the town will take over the present Oriel section of the library building. Definitely proof that the philistines are still living. This move also raises the question of . . . How much of the public car park will that eat up! Another clueless piece of ‘planning’.



    There is a fundamental issue about the occupancy and that is if the Council want a charitable Trust to run the facility then they cannot dictate the activities or retail space allocation that can be used. It would the the Trusts responsibility to maximise assets to generate income for the greater good of the overall project. The Trust are the one’s that should decide who/how the building is used.
    The consultant at the exhibition did not have sufficient information on the sustainable funding to determine if this project was viable. It was surprising to hear that decisions on things such as income from the car park, stalls and shops going to the Trust have not yet been considered as the income may remain the Council’s.



    The Peoples Market has a lettable floor area of 13,700 sq ft.This is let at around £15.00 per sq ft.The market is running at about 70% occupancy,returning around £143k.The running costs are met by the stallholders through the Service Charge.The Council can not afford to do away with an income of £143k.



    Thoughts On Wrexham’s Art & Cultural Hub? I was hoping that the ugly duckling that is the People’s market could be turned into a swan, but I don’t hold much hope. Its a tall order, but at least the building won’t detract from the art work on display.



    Are we also going to have guaranteed sunshine for this project — the upper floor with outside cafe and cinema as a concept seems fine if it was to be located inside a shopping arcade or a sunny country- potentially this are would be out of bounds for about 26 weeks a year unless brollies and thick thermals are to be issued to sit in the wind and rain.
    Why don’t they consider a Drive in Cinema on one of the car park decks instead!


    Nick Roe

    Admittedly the People’s Market is an awful building but the arts hub proposal seems an imaginative way to re-use it and bring life back into the town centre. There’s a lack of arts & performance space in Wrexham. Some of the comments on this thread raise valid critical points but where are the alternative viable proposals for regenerating this quarter?



    If the Council are serious about outside summertime Cultural events being an income generator then the obvious place to hold them is LLwyn Isaf . The site is in a central location, has power available , easy access for portable seating/staging , plenty of space and parking. Such events could still be organised by the newly formed Trust and income used to support the Arts in the People’s Market. Belle Vue Park and Erddig have both successfully run open air events but such events on the roof of the People’s Market is going to be a very hard sell!

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