UPDATE: As it is after midday – this was of course our April Fool for 2019!
There are no plans to create civic plinths, so sadly the town will not see a bronze Robbie Savage (or Tim Vincent, or the Leader of the Council!) with arms outspread. The news was met with a range of views on our Facebook page – well worth a look here. For those interested in the results of our straw poll, 64% wanted to see a Robbie statue, 25% of the Council Leader and 11% wanted Tim Vincent.
Huge thanks to local graphic designer and all round image-wizard Kieran Owens for cooking up the entirely believable images.
In a nod towards the ever wonderful @ColdWar_Steve twitter account eagle eyed readers would have also spotted a bonus dancing Theresa May.
Enjoy those? Here are some more from previous years…
2018: Protestors occupy Holt / Farndon bridge as it is selected as ‘Brexit Hard Border Trial Site’ , Welsh Assembly to open ‘innovate’ new Shrewsbury HQ to ‘link South, Mid and North Wales’, ‘Blimp of Welsh air’ to be taken to Walsall as Wrexham unveils new twinning partner.
2017: Council To Launch Helicopter Tours Of Gresford Roundabout Potholes, Queues Outside Guildhall As Thousands Log Off Facebook & Register To Vote Instead, Clean-up Operation Underway As Police Station Tower Falls Over In Storm
2016: ‘Bubble Bus’ For Wrexhamites Shopping In Chester, St Giles Set To Get ‘Digital Clockface’ In Upgrade Plans
2015: Plan To Put Roof On Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre 2014: Possible ‘HMP Chester’ Name For Wrexham Prison
2013: A483 To Become Toll Road In New Trial
2012: Council Declare Wrexham as ‘Capital City of Wales’.
We didn’t exist for 2011…!
Original story below…
The latest phase of the town centre improvements have been unveiled with four metre high statues of ‘Wrexham Icons’ planned for new plinths on Queens Square – that could include Robbie Savage, Tim Vincent or even Council Leader Mark Pritchard.
The pre-planning application reveals that Queens Square will get a revamp, with a new civic area created along side further new paving to join up the work completed last year around Henblas Street.
Previous improvement work cost £420,000 via investment by Wrexham Council, and was carried out on Hope Street through to Henblas Street replacing the old red bricks with new paving, alongside new planters and better seating.
Phase Two is split into new ‘public realm and civic space’ developments, with the actual preparation and creation of the statues being handed to a new ‘Icons of Wrexham Board’.
Queens Square will see several new plinths erected, explained by consultants as “being modelled on the Fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square with several Icons of Wrexham being voted every five years to fill each space”.
The application says one plinth space will be kept free for community and ‘changeable use’.
The 26 strong long list of public nominated local current and historical people with connections from Wrexham has been whittled down to a shortlist of three to be decided by judges after a public vote. The low number of voters, just 43 people, could be explained as it appears the council only publicised the vote via a Statutory Notice in the back of a newspaper.
The new documents give an insight to how it will be decided who will be the first ‘Icon of Wrexham’ and have the inaugural statue. The judging panel has been made up of local stakeholders who will ‘judge the contribution to the life, reputation and legacy of Wrexham’ before forming a decision.
Self proclaimed ‘real life modeller’ sculptor Peter Staker from Manchester explained: “Large statues require months of planning before we get to the casting stage.
“It will be an honour to work with whoever is chosen to be the inaugural person to be immortalised in bronze for centuries to come, and such work speaks to inspire future generations.”
In a press release the ‘Icons of Wrexham’ board said: “We are delighted that after a competitive voting process we have generated a shortlist of three outstanding candidates.
“Robbie Savage is an icon to football supporters over the years and is now a fully fledged A-list celebrity featuring on BBC 1’s prime time Strictly Come Dancing.
“Tim Vincent is a stalwart of media as well, a true multi-threat over television radio and online for decades.
“Finally Wrexham Council Leader Mark Pritchard topped the poll with a large number of votes to the west of Wrexham, and a statue would be honouring that support.”
The Board added: “The near four metre creations will make an impressive statement for the town, and create new instagram hot spots and boost tourism. With the empty plinths being filled over the years it is a self rejuvenating project that will keep momentum towards the next millenia.”
The release contained some ‘quick facts’ noting that the average cost per 13 foot statue is estimated as £75,000 with a note if Robbie Savage is selected a £2500 ‘hair supplement’ would be added due to the extra work and materials needed.
The judging process is set to complete by the end of April with councillors set to examine the final plans shortly after.
Funding for the statue project is a mix of public and private, with one line in the accompanying PDF suggesting a ‘£1.50 surcharge’ on next year’s council tax bills be used to cover the council contribution to the statues, but that would ‘have to be clearly marked and itemised’. There is no costing yet public for the council work to improve the paving as part of the second phase of improvement works.
The documents also include a hint to future ongoing work throughout the town centre, as it appears all part of a new draft ‘Masterplan’, previously hinted at by Council Chief Executive Ian Bancroft.
Although the public element of the vote is complete, we thought it would be interesting to gauge public views. Note – this vote is not connected in any way to the ‘Icons of Wrexham Board’ and is not part of the official process.
Who would you like to see as the inaugural recipient of a four metre statue in Queens Square on one of the new ‘community plinths’ ?
- Robbie Savage 66%, 111 votes111 votes 66%111 votes - 66% of all votes
- Mark Pritchard 24%, 41 vote41 vote 24%41 vote - 24% of all votes
- Tim Vincent 10%, 17 votes17 votes 10%17 votes - 10% of all votes
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