Some of Wrexham’s most historic architectural buildings and landmarks could be brought to life if a funding bid submitted by the local authority is successful.
Known for our history as a market town, Wrexham is packed full of fascinating buildings which can often be overlooked in the ‘there is nothing good in Wrexham’ negativity.
In a bid to celebrate the town’s heritage, Wrexham Council is now working on a funding bid – which if successful – could see several of the town’s architectural gems brought back into use.
The application itself is to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for Townscape Heritage Funding, which will help enhance the distinct historic environment within Wrexham Town Centre Conservation Area.
The scheme itself will be focused on some of the strongest historical assets right in the heart of Wrexham town centre.
If successful, the Townscape Heritage Scheme would provide funds to building owners to give them the chance to significantly enhance the appearance and usability of their properties through alteration work, reinstating lost traditional features and carrying out essential repairs.
A key element of the bid seeks to provide building owners, local people, agents, architects and contractors the chance to train and up-skill in the restoration of older buildings in the town and the use of traditional building skills.
Work could also be undertaken with partners to develop a comprehensive and accessible training programme to support the people of Wrexham build their skills and access employment.
Another of the negative comments thrown around about the town is the number of vacant shops which have been out of use for some time. Another focus of the funding will be to revive the town centre by bringing vacant buildings and upper floors into new use. In other town’s and cities across the UK, this has involved a change of use, splitting larger units into smaller ones and accommodation to help more people live above shops.
An application for the funding will be made in December to the HLF and if awarded to Wrexham, work could start on the town centre by autumn 2019.
Wrexham Council also say that if the Stage 1 bid is successful, a Stage 2 will go to the HLF in April 2019.
Speaking to local business owners last week who were aware of the bid, who told us that although all the town isn’t included in the bid, they’re hopeful that it could make a successful impact in Wrexham.
Cllr Terry Evans, Lead Member for Economic Performance and Regeneration, said: “If successful, this bid represents an excellent opportunity for Wrexham and its future regeneration.
“We’ve a lot of fantastic historical assets within the Conservation Area and the prospect of their being renovated, and those out of use being brought back in to commercial use, is very promising.
“I certainly hope this bid succeeds, and I’m very grateful to the officers involved for all the work they’ve put into it.”
Interested in finding out more about the project? Building owners and occupiers in the Town Centre are invited to an information event at Meeting Room 1 of the Guildhall, Wrexham, between 3pm and 7pm on Monday, November 6.
Officers will be on hand to discuss the bid and answer general questions, so if interested, your attendance would be welcome.