A day of celebrations has been announced to mark the first birthday of Wrexham Council’s flagship arts and markets facility.
Last year an estimated 10,000 people turned out on Bank Holiday Monday to celebrate Dydd Llun Pawb after everyone in the county borough had a posted invite. The £47,000 spent on the opening events in part tried to recreate a Victorian Wrexham tradition of residents attending a spring market over the bank holiday weekend with a parade through the town centre, a day of live entertainment and the launch of multiple Wrexham based souvenirs.
Just a few days after the launch event we noted that it was claimed more people had visited the opening of Tŷ Pawb than launch of Chester’s Storyhouse and Pontio in Bangor.
To celebrate the first birthday of the facility Tŷ Pawb have now unveiled plans to recreate last year’s launch event with ‘Dydd Llun 2’.
Performances for the day include Evrah Rose, PopVox Choir, Delta Academy Choir and Welsh Samba band, Bloco Sŵn.
Then in the late afternoon/evening the entertainment will continue in the People’s Square where bands and artists including Meilir, Omaloma and party band Break the Record will perform.
The full programme of events is expected to be confirmed shortly, but the day will also have the official unveiling of the new £5000 commissioned artwork for Wal Pawb, the revolving wall, which has been designed by artist Kevin Hunt. It will also be the very last day to visit the colourful and memorable ‘Julie Cope’s Grand Tour: The Story of a Life’ by Grayson Perry exhibitions.
Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships Public Protection and Community Safety, Cllr Hugh Jones, said: “Daytime community events are where Tŷ Pawb really comes into it’s own. There’s no place quite like it for bringing people together for live entertainment, arts. great food, shops and fun for all the family.
“Tŷ Pawb has grown from strength to strength over it’s first year and this promises to be a fantastic free event with something for everyone and a very fitting celebration to celebrate a wonderful achievement for the town.”
One year on from its opening and Tŷ Pawb is still viewed as a development that divides opinions between those who think it is a great addition to the town and those who argue it was not needed during the climate of council cuts (and Arts Council grant cut) alongside council tax increases – however councillors were told three months ago an adjusted business plan is now being followed and year one should be delivered for a shortfall of ‘just’ £33k (more here and here).
The first year of Tŷ Pawb has seen both ups and downs for the centre, with contractual issues for some traders still ongoing 12 months later – despite reassurances in September 2018 that all had been resolved as Wrexham Council have run the centre, in a move their own consultants recommended against.
Since it’s opening the facility has built up a following, with many visitors attending the free family events, exhibitions and activities, along with using the food courts and market space.
Last year Cllr Jones described the facility as the ‘jewel in Wrexham’s crown’ and that it had been delivered ‘on budget and on time’ – despite work taking place on the building for several months afterwards.
Details revealed ahead of a scrutiny meeting over Tŷ Pawb in December 2018 gave the following estimated breakdown of visitor figures since opening. Firmer figures are expected in future meetings, with the installation of footfall counters at the Chester Street entrances.
There is often some confusion about the funding of the Tŷ Pawb physical development, with over £4.5m being invested from several sources – the largest chunk of the investment comes from Arts Council Wales who provided £2.3 million after a successful funding bid. £1.5 million has been provided by Wrexham Council and £700,000 from the Welsh Government Vibrant and Viable Places scheme.
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