A newly refurbished bar which will be shared by students and football fans has been officially unveiled at the Glyndŵr University Racecourse Stadium.
The Centenary Bar was officially opened last night before the Wrexham FC vs Barrow home game by Adam Fuller, Glyndŵr University Students’ Guild President, and David Blaney, chief executive elect of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.
The bar has undergone a £90,000 transformation since Glyndŵr University acquired the stadium last year and is now equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including plasma screens, pool tables, Wi-Fi and a stage area for live bands, DJs and comedy events. It will become the new social home for the university’s students and remain open to supporters of Wrexham FC and other home teams on matchdays at the ground.
The bar has been open for a few weeks, but last night saw it being officially opened with a plaque and mini-curtain!
Speaking at the official opening, Professor Michael Scott, Vice-Chancellor of Glyndŵr University, said: “This is the first major refurbishment since we took over the stadium and I have to say we’re delighted with it. We’ve spent £300,000 on putting things right around the ground but quite a lot of that has been on health and safety issues and things which you wouldn’t see.
“But The Centenary Bar you can see, and it’s a tribute to the team that’s put it together and a tribute to the football club for their support. This is going to be a shared facility between our students and the football supporters. We don’t do town and gown here in Wrexham – we are all as one – and I’m sure it will be a great success.”
David Blaney, chief executive elect of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, said: “I’m delighted to be here to open the bar. One of our key aims and one of the key aims of the Welsh Government is to improve student facilities across Wales and give students a bigger role in the running of higher education. The opening of the bar is just the beginning, though, and we hope such investment will spread through universities all over Wales. I wish everyone who drinks in the bar all the best for the future.”
Adam Fuller, Glyndŵr University Students’ Guild President, said: “I’d like to thank the university for giving students the freedom to choose how they wanted the bar to look and feel. It’s such a flexible space – students can come and just study in the corner or come for a drink and watch live sport.
The Cent is now owned and operated by the University, having previously been owned by Wrexham Football Club. Former club owners Geoff Moss & Ian Roberts left the club in a perilous financial state, with overheads and wages running at a reported 131% of income, yet opened a £40,000,000 development next door – as we wrote about here.
The Wrexham Supporters Trust who took over Wrexham Football Club, although not the freehold of the Racecourse, revealed a ‘sting in the tail’ following their takeover with ex-club owner and now co-owner of Wrexham Village Ian Roberts requesting £130,000 that was owed to him – we wrote about this here.
The Wrexham Village development next door to the ground was constructed on land previously owned by Wrexham Football Club, and is now owned by Geoff Moss & Ian Roberts. Wrexham.com has written about the planning issues that have yet to be fulfilled on this site here. That story was written in July, with no changes that we have seen.
Wrexham Football Club fans are happy though at the investment not only in the Cent, but on the playing surface at the Racecourse with the recent heavy rain not causing an issue with the playing surface at last nights game despite flooding elsewhere.
Priorities could be tested on Saturday November 3rd when Wrexham FC could be in action in the FA Cup, but also Wales are playing the USA in the Rugby League World Cup – both potentially at the Racecourse!