INTEREST is growing around an ambitious £4 million project to build an iconic 80ft dragon on the gateway into Wrexham.
The man behind the plans, local businessman Simon Wingett, has launched a bid to source ‘crowd funding’ to get his Waking the Dragon project off the ground.
Under revised proposals the structure would be sited just off the A483 near the Halton roundabout at Chirk, standing on a 50ft man-made hill overlooking the gateway into Wales from England.
Mr Wingett said since the plans were resurrected last month he has already received almost 400 expressions of interest in a £95 loyalty card, which will offer them a lifetime of discounts at the site, including on food, drink, events and merchandising.
The money will also be raised for charity via a small car park charge, which will go to Marie Curie Cancer Care.
“I’ve had a great deal of interest and the moment we put a spade in the ground that figure will have noughts on it,” said Mr Wingett.
“We’re in the process of finalising what the offer is, we’re not after people’s money yet.”
Mr Wingett believes the roaring dragon could still attract up to 200,000 visitors to the area from across the globe and create 90 full-time jobs. Key to the plans for the 12,000 sq ft site are a Welsh centre of excellence, farm shop, cafe bar, art gallery and tourism and business hub.
The dragon itself will be accessible via a double helix footpath up to a viewing platform, which will take you up to the dragon’s talons.
It will be surrounded at the base by 11 stone monoliths representing one of the stories in The Mabinogion, which is collated from medieval Welsh manuscripts.
There would also be landscaped gardens with a large covered amphitheatre to stage education, theatre and other workshops as well as a sculpture park showcasing national and international works.
l Anyone who wishes to register their interest for a prospectus can visit www.thewelshdragon.co.uk, contact Moneypenny on 0845 371 2422 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.