The Arts Council of Wales has approved £2.3 million of funding to develop an Arts Hub in Wrexham town centre’s People’s Market, with Wrexham Council adding £1.5m.
Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities and Partnerships, said: “This is excellent news and I am delighted that the Arts Council of Wales has recognised the potential of, and its support for, this project. The investment of £1.5m by Wrexham Council in the future of the Arts Hub and Peoples Market has attracted a further £3m in funding. We will now work together with our partners in art and culture, together with market traders, to develop an Arts Hub and integral Market that will serve to attract visitors to Wrexham and across the region.”
Cllr Neil Rogers, Lead Member for Economy and Regeneration, said: “I am very pleased that this grant has been awarded which will signal the start of over £4.5 million of investment in the market and the town centre itself. It is an innovative scheme and one which see the regeneration of the People’s Market for use as a dual purpose facility for the benefit of the traders and the arts in Wrexham. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Arts Council for their generous support and all the staff who have worked tirelessly to reach this stage of the process.”
Kath Davies, Director of Investment and Funding Services said: “This project provides an exciting opportunity to create an innovative hub for creative activity that will inspire and nurture the ambition of communities across Wrexham and the wider area. This is an unique opportunity for the arts community and market traders to work alongside each other to develop a vibrant space which will play a key part in the regeneration of the town centre.”
Council Leader, Cllr Mark Pritchard, said: “I am delighted we have been granted this money and hope this is one of many partnership opportunities to regenerate Wrexham town centre.”
The Council’s release notes: “Once completed, which is expected to be in early 2018, the new facility will be two tiers. The ground floor will have space for over 650 sq m of market stall provision, a main gallery exhibition space and second gallery, performance areas, one including tiered seating, casual market stalls such as for an arts and craft market or Christmas market, a food court, a visitor welcome area and arts gift shop and new WCs and baby change area. On the second floor there will be creative space studios, a learning studio, office accommodation, informal seating spaces, further WCs and utility facilities.
“Works are expected to start on site in January 2017 following the production of final designs and a tender process to appoint a building contractor. Whilst works are ongoing the People’s Market will be open for business as usual.”
The total cost of the redevelopment of the People’s market building is in the region of £5 million. In addition to the Arts Council of Wales Grant £700,000 funding has been made available from the Welsh Government’s Vibrant and Viable Places Programme and £1.5million from Wrexham Council.