Memorial Hall redevelopment set for green light with new memorial gardens and plaza
This morning Wrexham’s Executive Board members are to be asked to decide whether the Memorial Hall in the heart of Wrexham should be rebuilt as a lasting memorial and community venue fit for the 21st Century.
The move comes following a study of the current status of the Memorial Hall which included a series of workshops which included Armed Forces support regiments, a number of Responsible Officers across the Authority and elected Members.
The council say feedback at both sessions was “extremely positive and all Members expressed their support for this project” adding, “The Armed Forces representatives in particular were fully supportive of a vision for a new building to honour the Veteran community through ensuring the existing memorials have a far greater presence than they currently do”.
A study concluded that a new build on the current site is the preferred option to “bring about an experience that presents a more cohesive vision centred on a 21st Century Memorial Hall that is the cornerstone to Wrexham’s commemoration of those that have fallen in war and conflict, providing a community hub through cultural and social well-being”.
Pictures of the plans have been seen by Wrexham.com several weeks ago, along with a quick scan read of an indepth consultants report / brochure. Despite an assurance ‘all the pictures and the photographs’ would be sent over, the impressive images have not been released to the public.
The images that we saw show an impressive double height modern building, plaza and gardens and open public space along with a glossy pack detailing the redevelopment plan.
A standard council report before councillors says: “The study indicates that even pre-Covid, the Memorial Hall was operating at a loss with income not offsetting expenditure. “There is a stalwart of hirers who are very loyal to the Memorial Hall and repeatedly return. “However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract new bookings. The cost of hiring the Memorial Hall compared to other facilities is not competitive.”
The report adds: “The hall has reached a watershed moment and needs to rediscover its purpose that commemorates those that have fallen in war and conflict as a community asset, but also improves its relationship to the immediate civic campus of buildings and uses, and the wider city centre offer.”
“The development of the memorial gardens and piazza surrounding the new building would focus on making the memorial more central and having a far greater presence than it currently does.
“Investing in the redevelopment of this building in a prominent site would help raise the standard of the built environment and improve the vibrancy and image of Wrexham in light of its recent city status.”
Cllr Mark Pritchard, Council Leader and Lead Member for Assets, said, “I’m very pleased that this report is coming before the Executive Board and I particularly note the support that has already been shown for the preferred option.
“The plans if they are shown to be viable will see a new Memorial Hall and gardens commemorating those that have fallen in war and conflict.
No funding has yet been identified for the project and opportunities for funding will be explored in order to invest in a RIBA Stage 3 building.
Wrexham.com also raised a question from the Forums that queried who exactly owned the building and site, and was told by senior leaders they were aware of the post, and ‘had asked for clarity’ and such clarity would be in place for the meeting today ready for the decision.
(Top pic: A week on, a stock image of the memorial and building, rather than the impressive renderings the council have kept private for months and we were waiting to share with you.)
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