THE transformation of Wrexham town centre could be the key to securing city status, according to Welsh Secretary Peter Hain.

Mr Hain yesterday gave his support to any future bid by the town for city status.

His backing comes as Wrexham MP Ian Lucas said the council should begin preparing a new bid for a competition for local authorities to be granted the status to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.

Over the years, Wrexham has made a number of attempts to become a city.
The most recent was in 2002 when there was a similar competition for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Wrexham was in the running in Wales along with Aberystwyth, Machynlleth, Newtown, Newport and St Asaph.

The eventual winner was Newport.

Wrexham Council has not yet made up its mind if it will launch a fresh bid, with council leader Aled Roberts raising concerns over the cost.

But yesterday Mr Hain told the Leader: “As the largest town in North Wales Wrexham has recently seen the establishment of the University of Glyndwr and the successful regeneration of the town’s shopping centre.

“Wrexham has much claim to become Wales’ next city and I wish it every success in a future bid.”