Plans to create a ‘Libraries and Heritage Trust’ in Wrexham have been scrapped, with the option seen as no longer being ‘financially viable’.
Previously there were plans to hand control of Wrexham Council’s libraries, to an outside Trust. Initially the proposal was to partner with a South Wales Trust, but local councillors were unhappy with that so a local Trust was explored.
Last July plans were unveiled for the creation of a ‘Wrexham Culture Trust’, which would have seen heritage services, including the Wrexham Museum be placed under its control along with all libraries, community centres and the new ‘Arts Hub’ OW Peoples Market centre.
However speaking at yesterday’s Executive Board, Lead Member for People, Communities and Partnerships Cllr Hugh Jones stated that having Wrexham libraries and museum put into a Trust was not the ‘right direction to travel’.
He continued onto say that legislation introduced in 2015 had now had time to ‘bed in’ and that the evidence Wrexham Council now have with procurement legislation shows there would be a risk in following that action in terms of the Trust.
Cllr Jones added: “We will continue to operate Wrexham’s libraries, museum and heritage in house. During the process we had clear objective to deliver the best possible standard of library, museum and archive services.
“I want to pay tribute to the staff working there, there has been an element of uncertainty. Throughout the process we have kept staff informed and they have been aware of the developments in the Trust.
“It is always right when you have made a decision, especially when circumstances around you are changing, that you keep the original decision under review.”
Concerns were raised on how this change of direction impacts the Arts Hub, with Cllr Dana Davies querying if the decision will result in an implication on the timeframe for the Arts Hub.
Cllr Jones offered assurances about the Arts Hub, stating: “It will be a Trust model. With the timescale this will not impact it, we will have the appropriate Trust in time to operate the markets and the Arts Hub.”