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Old 05-09-2014, 10:01 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 629
Default Knitting the town together

Just a run on from the post by Rondetto

There appears to be a general view that there are problems in the town, some associated with planning decisions, some part and parcel of overall changes that have occurred over the last decade.

What I would like to see is all those people who are interested in improving the current position and our town do as much as possible to build from where we are. One obvious need is to knit the town together so that people who are put off from coming here because of its sprawling nature or poor parking change their minds.

So the question is....what can we do to link the town together?

Ruth Rees from the Jewellers on Chester Street is someone who is actively promoting the idea of a 'Town Trail' and this will positively impact where Tourists are concerned.

So folks (and Mr Lucas) what else can be done?
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:28 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 159
Default Re: Knitting the town together

I'm afraid Alun the problems run much deeper than town layout and parking charges. For reasons I can't recall, I decided to drive across town lastnight via King's St, Regent St, Hill St Brook St etc. Areas I simply wouldn't visit on a trip to town. Having been reminded of what a miserable experience it is, I have no desire to return. These areas have little hope of investment (private or corporate) besides those looking to capitalise on the grimness which will only hasten the demise – betting shops being a typical example.
I do agree though that there are seeds that can be planted to, at the very least, instil a modicum of pride in residents and if successful, provide the momentum needed for the neglected areas to develop.

My 2p of ideas:

-Xmas lights. Wrexham’s lights are at best mediocre but if being honest, pretty poor. Yet huge improvements can be made with little (ideally none at all) investment. We have an excellent art college, a decent technical college and an enormous selection of fabrication shops which, as a combination, could emulate some of the spectacular structures popping up in larger towns and cities across Europe. Take it another step further and encourage business sponsorship of individual displays and the cost reduces markedly. A further step again could be to involve community groups, schools, clubs etc to become involved in their own designs to create a bit of friendly completion as well as a great deal of pride.
If successful it could encourage all town centre businesses to improve their displays also, resulting in Wrexham becoming a real xmas destination.

-Charles Street. My biggest gripe about Wrexham is the lack of a civilised food/drink orientated evening economy. However there are limited areas within the town where it could develop, away from the usual rabble. EM has tried to offer this but in the end it has failed to keep up with a changing food culture, only offering mediocre national restaurant chains.

Charles St is almost unique in Wrexham in that it is has retained most of its architecture and is quite pleasant to walk down. It is somewhere where a real food-led economy could grow, with a rather large caveat that the taxi-firm could be gently encouraged to relocate and the whole street became pedestrianized. What would be required is for the town centre team to work with current business and property owners to develop a plan and then market it to death to prospective investors and business start-ups.

-Llwyn Isaf. This with kids in the area have probably at some point visited Alyn Waters park. Those who have been most recently will have seen what an excellent job has been made of the new play areas. On each visit I sit and look at the swarms of families willing to travel there (and importantly, spend money in the café too) I wonder why there couldn’t be something similar in the town centre? Llwyn Isaf, to me, is a wasted opportunity. It should be a destination. There is plenty of room for a play area of similar format to Alyn Waters and perhaps it could be a boost to nearby areas such as Queens Square and Lord Street.

As I said, just my 2p’s worth.
Alunh likes this.
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:37 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 629
Default Re: Knitting the town together

All those 2ps count Adam

I understand your frustration but there is enough to build on in Wrexham long term to turn the place around.

Your comment about the lights is vital (the one where you say that this does not have to cost). There are plenty of areas where the private sector could and should be encouraged to spend money to improve the town.

Quite agree about the night time economy. This developed in the 'Cool Britain' era and needs to move on nowadays. The club/pub culture has been replaced in many towns by the targeting of an older audience with more diverse tastes.

Hopefully some Entrepreneur will realise that there are other target markets available
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:07 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 311
Default Re: Knitting the town together

I think the first thing that needs to be done is to get people to realise that Wrexham is OUR town and by sodding off elsewhere, we are not doing the place any favours.

I do constantly see and hear people complaining about how dull Wrexham is and how empty (although I work in the town centre and often pop into shops on my lunch break and find it far from empty) and that they won't come here because of it. Well that's the complete wrong attitude. While these people are taking their money elsewhere, be it Chester, Shrewsbury, wherever, they are boosting the economy of those places and not ours. People need to invest in our town. If the people who live here would rather go somewhere else, then there's not much incentive for tourists to come here either is there?

There are loads of things coming up, particularly in the summer where the general public can get involved. Between the likes of Wrexfest and Volunteers Day coming up with activities and entertainment for all, people should be coming into Wrexham, not heading off somewhere else.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we can all bend over backwards to do what we can, but in the end, if the rest of the town doesn't care enough to stay, where's it all going to go in the long run?

There are loads of empty shops sitting around town that could easily be made a good use of. The idea of better eating, or civilised as it was called in the town centre may be a good one, but realistically, it's not going to work. Why? Well because the pubs and clubs and take away places are dotted about so much, it's difficult to pinpoint one particular area of town that would be suitable. if you want to get away from the usual hustle and bustle of a Saturday night and have a nice quiet family meal, you won't find it in town. I for one wouldn't go to the town centre for a family meal because I just don't want to deal with the intimidation of the people going to and from the pubs and clubs. Not they they ARE intimidating, but I feel that way, and many other people across the world do. but that's just me.

We could do loads to improve the quality of the town.. we could improve the buildings, get more shops, making the town buzzing, but in the end, if people are going elsewhere, then what's the point? Some people would say "well if there was more there I'd stay" but at the end of the day, they wouldn't because they are used to going elsewhere.

I for one love a nice day out to Chester on a sunny day, cuppa from Central Perk, walk down the river, then up through Grosvenor Park but I don't do it every day or every week. Let's invest in Wrexham so we can make it somewhere everyone enjoys.
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Old 05-09-2014, 07:27 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 629
Default Re: Knitting the town together

The problem with getting people to either consume in Wrexham or invest in Wrexham is that people will only do these things if it is in their interests. Those folk who choose to travel to Chester by bus to do a quick shop do so because it may well be easier to do this than arrive in King Street and walk a long way to (say) Eagle's Meadow. Same logic applies to businesses and where and when they invest.

Other towns do, however, adopt creative responses.

One way of knitting the town together is by allowing as much short term free Car Parking as is possible in the proximity of the centre. The obvious Car Park to do this is Market Street which is close to several destinations as well as opening up (say) Lambpit Street for the same. I think someone on here mentioned that Llandudno benefits from this. Clearly the town bus scheme might have been another but this seems to have failed. A 3rd approach could be to have a long hard look at the pedestrianized areas in the town.

There must be other ways of knitting the town together.

Any good ideas that would work in practice and which have been noted in other towns?
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:05 PM
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 25
Default Re: Knitting the town together

Quite agree with all of these posts. Wrexham is my hometown and I will defend it against any criticism, however, I can't help feeling it is becoming a less desireable place to live. I've worked in town for 25 years, and I am saddened by the increase, over the past 3 years or so, of the amount of adults clearly drunk or under the influence of God-knows-what wandering around the Town. I see the same faces every day. I was in cafe nero at approx 4pm yesterday and whilst there, I observed 8 people in Queens Square sharing a bottle of some cheap alcohol, shouting,swearing and generally being anti-social. I thought there was a no alcohol policy in Town? If not, there should be. If I know who these people are, why do the Authorities not seem to know? This is an aside from the establishments that prey on peoples addictions such as the abundant bookmakers and (some) of the disgusting pubs/clubs in the Town centre who take no responsibility for the behaviour of the louts they eject at 4am absolutely smashed on cheap booze. I know we've all been there and made booze related mistakes, but I've never felt the need to stamp on someone's head and then offer the defence that I was so drunk I had no recollection of the incident! I know all places have a rough element, but this is OUR Town. We need a zero policy on anti-social behaviour in the daytime. We need better regulated pubs and clubs and a more visible police presence to sort out the rougher element.
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:19 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 537
Default Re: Knitting the town together

The OUR or MY Town concept is good but that needs everyone to buy into this concept. Unfortunately those who do drink probably do not feel any affinity to the town and therefore don't worry about their behaviors as they are only self interested.
Jobs and suitable homes for these people are crucial which then links to the wider community prosperity for the area.
A few years ago the Ty Nos night shelter was established on Holt Road -- sounds good but the people aren't allowed in until 8.00pm and have to be out by 8.00am -- what support and hope is this giving to the homeless. The problem is escalating in town with an average of 70 breakfast being provided through charitable means to roofless and homeless people every day.
We have escalating social problems in the town which is likely to get worse with more people of all ages now taking so called 'legal highs' to keep them going as they are jobless and homeless.
Will parts of the town be abandoned by retailers and become havens for drug and drink-
All sorts of reports have been done in the past and are being done now by a University -- 1. these take time and 2. any possible situation is overtaken by other changes in society or dare I say it there is no budget to implement the possible solutions.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 629
Default Re: Knitting the town together

Quite agree Dylan. I think, however, that it is vital to attend to the more obvious things that we know need to be attended to immediately whilst the people with the Stats and Finances do their stuff over time. It may be, for example, that things like rebranding of the town or positioning the offer will emerge in these Reports but we can at least ensure that the town is graffitti free and beggar less in the short term.
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Old 05-10-2014, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 537
Default Re: Knitting the town together

Graffiti can be very good if there are places dedicated to the free expression of 'art'-- a place that really needs to be brightened up are the grey walls of the bus station -- why not hand them over to the local art students to brighten up the area.
Talking about the bus station look at the canopy opposite the CoOp it is now sprouting a good growth of grass (I'm sure it wont be cut as it will have been part of the reduced grass cutting budget cuts).
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:45 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 629
Default Re: Knitting the town together

I would like to see the Tourist Information Centre closed and relocated to the People's Market. The current location is neither here nor there and serves a limited function. To knit the town together, I would like to see the Tourist Information Centre converted into a multi-facet centre that serves both the current niches but adds on lots more areas of Town promotion. I would use it as a location to promote local crafts and local produce and, if possible, encourage on-site potters and workers in fabrics (etc) to manufacture and promote their produce. The Centre could be developed to best promote the town/borough.

I would select the People's Market because it is located next to 2 significant Car Parks and Market Street would make an ideal Shop Mobility hub for visitors to the town (located about equidistantly from Eagles Meadow and the town). Savings could be made by a cash strapped Council by uniting the Markets Office and the TIC whilst any positive spin off could assist the People's Market.

TICs are located in various places (as in the case of Oswestry) and much activity these days is done on-line. The current TIC is not near a specific point of arrival in the town nor of any high visibility to in-comers. A relocation could be used to strategic advantage and help knit the town together
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