The Football Association of Wales (FAW) is offering to lead a review to inform the development of a future ‘football vision’ and action plan for Wrexham.
The details have emerged in a report before the Council’s Executive Board next week which notes: “The strategic review undertaken by the FAW would build on the initial work undertaken by officers from the Council and embrace the potential future contributions of the University, professional football clubs, schools and colleges, leisure operators, Community and Town Councils, governing body, clubs and leagues.”
We asked Councillor David Bithell, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, about the plans, he said: “What we are trying to do is work more collaboratively, for example with schools and colleges. We are hoping this will result in more joined up thinking with clubs and schools making much better use of facilities.”
“It is a positive step that the FAW do want to work with us, they have done some work down in Cardiff and Newport, and we hope this will have a significant impact on Wrexham, it may lead to investment. It will hopefully support our local team Wrexham, and obviously support the national team in the longer term.”
It is understood the review will start with ‘grass roots’, and likely build upwards from there.
We asked Cllr Bithell if there had been any formal noises about the involvement of Wrexham Football Club’s former training ground Colliers Park in the FAW’s plans, but he said that was not yet the case, “To be fair we have not had any discussion on that front, no. We are at the early stages.”
Councillor Neil Rogers referenced the success in the Euro 2016 to us, and added, “It is vitally important that any profits, and there was huge profits, are reinvested in Wales and this particular area of Wales.”
If such an approach is supported by the Council it is expected the proposed plan for Wrexham
would be available to the newly elected Council in the autumn of this year, with FAW officials working alongside Wrexham Council Officers.
Alongside the review it is proposed the Council continue with the offer of providing season ticket enhanced rates on Council-owned outdoor sports pitches and changing rooms, in addition to the usual ‘pay as you play’ costs.
The Council said: “The charging policy on Council pitches will be considered as part of the review process, but in the meantime will give some stability over the 2017/18 season whilst the review is underway.”
UPDATE: As Wrexham Glyndwr University are landlords of both the Racecourse and Colliers Park, iconic footballing facilities, we enquired if they were taking part in or were open to being part of any FA Wales review.
Glyndwr told us: “Wrexham Glyndwr University and the FAW have a long-standing relationship and collaborate on a number of projects, including the University’s new football coaching degree.
“We continue to work closely with the FAW and Wrexham Council and are of course happy to explore and discuss future developments that will improve the county’s sporting provision.”
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