Posted: Wed 27th Jan 2021

New Wrexham branding set for green light to promote area as “vibrant, attractive place to work, study, live, shop and visit” for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

Plans continue for the regeneration of Wrexham town centre including announcements of initial funding and timescales as part of the Welsh Governments Transforming Towns Programme

Following a “very positive meeting” yesterday afternoon the work of Wrexham’s Civic Leadership Group (CLG) has been recognised and supported by Welsh Government, which means work will continue on the “Common Purpose”, which aims to see the regeneration of the town centre through targeted investment and intervention. The work also support the wider development of the Welsh Government Transforming Towns programme with Wrexham being seen as one of a number leading towns in developing this programme.

Ken Skates, MS, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales and Hannah Blythyn, MS, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government met with the Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Pritchard and representatives of the CLG to discuss the plans for the future and how mutual working can see ambitious plans continue to progress.

The initial work includes developing a strong brand and embarking on marketing and engagement to complement the ambitious plans and take Wrexham into the national arena. This work is ready to begin. understands that will see the development of a “brand for Wrexham” to promote the town and county locally up to the national stage. That branding will highlight how the area is a “vibrant, attractive place to work, study, live, shop and visit”. There is a thrust to engage locally with 100% of local small businesses and representative organisations working in Wrexham, and then get a minimum of 50% of small businesses in town centres showing support for the Wrexham campaign or using associated branding/messages/campaign materials across any of their promotions channels.

It is expected that first stage will take around 3-4 months, with an agency hired to develop the ‘fresh and engaging’ brand identity for Wrexham.

A second phase will see the planning and operation of a 6 month campaign to promote the brand, with wider ‘out of home area’ style promotion to take Wrexham’s name wider.

A range of match funding has been secured, with the most coming from Welsh Government then Wrexham Council, and both Coleg Cambria and Wrexham Glyndwr University also making a contribution.

A market appraisal is also about to begin which will look at key redundant sites in the town centre and how they can be purchased by the public sector and re-purposed to create areas ready to attract new businesses and investors.

The Development Bank of Wales are a key part of the partnership and the group say their involvement in the future will be key in attracting new businesses into their area through the launch of an entrepreneurial fund, the intention is to make this fund available in the Spring.

The total funding when these investments are finalised and delivered is anticipated to be over £500k and is the first stage in implementing 3 of the 9 projects previously outlined by the group. It is anticipated further investment will follow into these 3 projects, e.g. purchase of redundant properties, as well as the other 6 projects as they are developed.

Following the meeting Cllr Mark Pritchard Leader of the Council and Ian Bancroft Chief Executive jointly said: “The plans recognise Wrexham’s unique position both in North Wales and across the border into North West England and it’s really encouraging to get the support of Ministers at this stage of initial investment. Even with all the restrictions and challenges faced by the pandemic we are well placed to bring investment and confidence to the town centre in addition to all the other initiatives that have already seen substantial funding put into the regeneration of the area. We would like to thank the Ministers for taking the time to meet with us and for their words of encouragement and investment commitments, and the Civic Leadership Group for continuing to progress with their exciting plans.’

Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates MS said: “It’s good to see these positive developments moving forward in Wrexham. It will be of real benefit to the town, its residents and those who work here. Now more than ever we need to invest and make the most of our town centres. This is a significant step in the right direction for Wrexham and is maintaining the fantastic momentum with the town’s profile improving globally thanks to Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney”

Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn MS said: “The regeneration of Wrexham Town Centre is a prime of example of how we are supporting and securing the future of Welsh towns through our Transforming Towns programme. This project will not only boost sustainability, footfall and economic growth by creating jobs, homes and business opportunities but will have a beneficial impact on the wellbeing of the local community.

“By having a town centre first approach we can better connect our communities and ensure more people access our towns. I remain committed to transforming towns like Wrexham into community assets were people want to live, work and shop.”

Recent work on major proposals for the Wrexham area have seen progress on the Wrexham Gateway project incorporating the train station and the football ground, plans for the Wrexham Museum to become the home of the Welsh Football Museum, Transforming Towns funding to develop and improve the town centre markets, and the £1.5 million of heritage funding awarded to restore and conserve many of Wrexham’s historically important buildings making them attractive for local businesses and individuals.

The Civic Leadership Group for Wrexham was established in 2018 in partnership with Wrexham County Borough Council and is made up of “Civic Leaders” from a range of public and voluntary organisations and businesses in Wrexham who are united around an ambition to support Wrexham achieve its full potential, in particular through a focus on and investment in the town centre.

Top pic: The last Wrexham Food Festival in 2019

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