Ty Pawb – Very disappointed :-(

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    As someone who stood up for Ty Pawb and more than anything wanted a decent arts hub in Wrexham, it saddens me to say I am so gutted with how it’s turned out.

    Very amateur in design and layout – I would say it looks unfinished and seems make-shift.

    It is not like an Arts hub at all, it looks like a very cheap put together market place with surplus space put aside for the arts.

    No disabled sign on the one disabled toilet, no decent seating for the disabled. The benches I saw were very low down for a disabled or elderly person to sit on.

    The people with walkie talkies and security seemed over kill.

    The market area looks like its been put together in haste and does not look finished. The stalls themselves look like cheap wood and the bare breeze block walls combined with that gives the hub a cheap and nasty feel.

    I hope to be proved wrong but feel its not met my expectations of what an art hub should be and just hope over the next 12mths the appearance and vibe of the place improves.

    And as for the parade, don’t even get me started – it was embarrassing!




    Councillor Hugh Jones summed it up on Wrexham Matters video when he said, pity everything was not open. £43k on the build up, and the Council cannot make sure everything is operational.
    Despite the Council saying all space has been let, why are tenants not in place?



    And as for the parade, don’t even get me started – it was embarrassing!

    I know you said not to get you started, but now I’m genuinely intrigued! What did the parade consist of?
    Did many people turn up for the opening?



    Thank you for bringing your honest feedback about Ty Pawb Janey.

    I was planning on visiting today with a skeptical but open view to see what it was like. However, I have actually been put off going by the incredibly aggressive and personal attack stance of several individuals associated with Ty Pawb against anyone who has had criticisms on social media of the look of the interior or reservations about how much it has cost.

    It’s a very forced “You will like it or else type vibe” – it’s almost like we are in North Korea or East Germany pre-Berlin wall.

    There have been 4 repeat concerns mentioned online by people who have visited.

    1) The look of the interior – it has been said that it looks like a very unfinished, unwelcoming, dull and depressing space with the cages making it look like a prison

    2) Performance set-up – The audiovisual set-up is very cheap and of poor quality. Someone in the know has stated that the performance space is not up to par because they have cut corners and invested in an unheard of Chinese brand of speakers etc… that would unlikely be fit for purpose of most performances. Professionals would likely have to bring in their own sound equipment.

    3) Disabled Access issues – There is an overall lack of accessibility for disabled users – the issues you mentioned, plus someone has expressed concerns over the colour of words for those with vision issues, also wheelchair users have expressed concerns that the whole space is not really suitable for them.

    4) The cost – People quite simply feel that regardless of where the money has come from £4m was not price justified on what has been presented on opening day. The debate will go on forever as to how and what funding should have been used.

    Ultimately, I have a feeling that issues 1-3 can be rectified after feedback because the space could easily be made more vibrant, sound systems can be upgraded and spaces can be improved for access. Unfortunately this will come at more cost.

    The success of the whole project will live or die on whether Wrexham users flock to it on a regular basis and help it and its users generate sufficient revenue. There are lots of people who need to be won over.

    I can’t help but feel like the people telling everyone to shut up or make personal attacks in the likes of the Wrexham Town Matters Facebook group against anyone who says anything negative isn’t going to win that segment over, it’s more likely to alienate them and make them slate it further. Did anyone ever hear McDonald’s tell anyone to f*ck off when they slagged off their burgers? They don’t, they engage rather than enrage by challenging perceptions and invite them to try out. But currently Ty Pawb has its own army of trolls who make Ad Hominem attacks if their precious building has any concerns pointed out.

    The debate over its success or failure continues…



    On a side note, I fully plan to make a visit at some point, so I can make an overall objective & honest appraisal of the situation.

    But I declare that it’s not a valid position to say “Not yet visited – have no right to an opinion”. Otherwise many people would have to remain silent on a number of issues – The US, Catalonia, Syria, Russia, disproportionate spending on Cardiff/Swansea vs North Wales etc, etc…



    I made a trip into town especially to see Ty Pawb this afternoon, was looking forward to it.
    I enjoyed the photographs of Wrexham and the large artworks from “Is this Planet Earth?” Lots of children appeared to be busy with activities, lovely to see.

    Otherwise, I came away feeling depressed. It looks unfinished, cheap, functional but unwelcoming. There is, sadly no atmosphere. The seating is ok for able-bodied people but anyone else would find it hard to be comfortable.

    The new Police suite at the library looks much more inviting. Very smart!


    Hi Matt; excellent post once again.

    I was one of the many people who was attacked aggressively for being apparently “negative” on the Ty Pawb matter. Whilst I personally found the points being made laughable, others might not if they were not as thick skinned.

    I run a business and have done for years. To succeed, or even to survive, you have to discuss the best way forward with all and sundry, absorbing the criticism and reflecting on the positives as you go along. This is actually part of Marketing and successful operations actually pay for feedback. There are a group of individuals associated with the Arts fraternity who appear to be behaving like attack dogs, determined to stifle discussion and input. Apparently when anyone makes a comment that even feels like it is negative, they descend. Wow!!

    Despite that, I ventured along today and was more impressed than I thought I would be. I’m not sure if that was because there were so many people attending the Hub or because of what I saw on show. The Hub is clearly not yet finished and it feels like no one has really done a brass tacks Marketing exercise identifying the optimal target market(s) and the necessary steps taken to service it(them)…….but there is potential. I hope that much fine tuning takes place and that my old Market trader friends enjoy prosperity over the next few months. they deserve it



    Hindsight is wonderful, but I truly wish it had been possible to add the money from the Arts Council (£4 million, I think?) and the top up from our own council (@£1 million?) to the Wrexham education budget, ring-fencing it specifically for music, art & craft lessons. Our youngsters have suffered more than anybody else from austerity cuts to education and community resources.


    Council Watcher

    First I would like to congratulate those members of community organisations who took part in the parade today and braved the weather.

    End of compliment-

    Although the community had been involved with making the ‘huge’ parade models they did appear to be a damp squib in the end. The promise of large-scale models similar to Notting Hill Carnival was very far off the mark – yes that is what the first consultants appointed to put the event together had promised (I wonder why they were dismissed?).

    The parade lacked so much of the enthusiasm that existed in past Christmas parade when many community groups spent hours decorating their floats- again promised by the consultants. We have done it before in Wrexham why not for this event. Christmas and Round Table Parades brought out 100’s taking part and 1000’s to watch..

    It is astonishing that Cllr Jones says “it is a pity that not everything is open.” Why should this be a surprise to him — he is the Lead member does he not talk to his staff who only two weeks ago were desperate to almost giving the stall space away at rock bottom prices just to get them full for today. I wonder who was around the meeting table when a reduction in rent was discussed between officers and Council Members.. wait until the stall holders start talking to each other and they realise they are paying different rates- those who are late to commit paying less than those who first signed up!

    As for the building the disabled access issue has been highlighted again — £4.5 million and they cant even get a disabled toilet sign up speaks volumes for the level of control in place. Very little comfortable seating for older peole so they are not likly to pop in for a coffee and sandwich.

    It was difficult to hear people talk in some places due to the many hard surfaces and echo – this will become worse as the number of people present on a normal day is far lower than today.

    There seems to be a number of comments about the buzz in the place today — as there are probably as many pop up table top stalls as actual stalls when these are removed this evening much of the space will look and feel empty. Also, the music area will be removed– I wonder how the Council will deal with requests from youngsters who want to busk in the venue

    The food outlets may be complementing themselves at the moment but what happens when there is a price war over how much to sell coffee to attract footfall — Kings Coffee vs the Tapas Bar — Any Gallanders and Alex Joines shouting their prices out to get people to buy from them.

    A huge marketing campaign will be required to get repeat visits (oh and by the way I don’t know what will be on in the future as I couldn’t find a programme of events anywhere today)
    That’s enough negativity from me — can someone please give me something to try and change my mind.



    I also visited this afternoon, and there was a lot there today, (on a poor weather day to) but unfortunately after looking around at what’s on offer I can see it ending up pretty much the same as the former peoples market with not much to entice people in there.

    The other thing is after walking through the old TJ Hughes shop, not sure what that is all about !

    I do hope I am wrong by the way.

    The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

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