Posted: Fri 19th Apr 2024

Multi-million pound investment to transform Old Library into “creative industries powerhouse” for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

A Grade II listed building in the heart of the city centre will become the “engine room” of Wrexham’s creative industries thanks to a £2.9 million investment under the Welsh Government Transforming Towns regeneration programme.

The Old Library, on Queens Square, has been closed to the public for some years having previously been used by Wrexham Council’s ICT department.

Last year the local authority undertook a tendering exercise for a future occupier of the ‘underused’ Grade II listed building.

Now it has been confirmed that the building, which was originally built in 1907 with money donated by the Scottish businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, will enjoy a new lease of life after Wrexham Council was awarded funding to transform it into a “multi-purpose creative hub.”

The project is expected to cost just over £4 million, with funding provided via Welsh Government’s ‘Transforming Towns Fund’ and other sources of grant funding including the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The hub will support entrepreneurship across the creative industries, and will be a focal point for local groups, individuals and businesses.

Once complete Wrexham Council say that the building will feature three floors of creativity, including:

  • Flexible working and co-working space for entrepreneurs
  • Office space
  • Recording studios
  • TV production facilities
  • Workshops – including hi-tech ‘labs’ kitted out with laser cutters and 3D printers
  • Exhibition space

Councillor Nigel Williams, Wrexham Council’s Lead Member for Economy and Regeneration, said: “This is fantastic news and will transform a wonderful Grade II listed landmark city centre building into an exciting hub, future proofing and re inventing itself to become the engine room for local, creative industries.

“We all know that city centres need to evolve to stay relevant in a world where shopping, leisure and daily habits have changed, and finding new purposes for buildings like the old library is crucial.

“I would like to thank Welsh government for supporting this project as yet again Wrexham council have been successful in being awarded grant funding for another exciting project.

“There’s certainly a real buzz around Wrexham at the moment and this is a great time to invest and make the most of Wrexham’s growing global profile.”

Cabinet Secretary for Housing, Local Government and Planning, Julie James, said: “Bringing empty properties back into beneficial use is a central pillar of our £125m Transforming Towns regeneration programme.

“I am pleased to see a £2.9m capital grant awarded to Wrexham County Borough Council supporting the transformation of an empty prominent building in the heart of the city centre into a creative industries hub.

“I look forward to seeing how a successful creative hub in North East Wales will support future growth and nurture talent in this sector and help secure the resilience of Wrexham city centre.”

Work is expected to begin later this year autumn , with the building scheduled to open in late summer / early autumn 2025.

The project is expected to cost just over £4 million, with funding provided via Welsh Government’s ‘Transforming Towns Fund’ and other sources of grant funding including the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Old Library is the latest Wrexham building to benefit from Transforming Towns funding, with Welsh Government already allocating millions of pounds towards other projects – including the General and Butchers Markets refurbishment, and Wrexham Museum.

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