Planners set to decide on Chirk Welsh dragon plan

Reporter:

Staff reporter

ABOUT £4,000 has been raised from the pound appeal for the huge dragon tower in Chirk.

Council planners will determine whether to grant permission for the 200ft dragon at a meeting on November 2.

The man behind the plan, art dealer and auctioneer Simon Wingett, said he has had a great deal of support from politicians and the public and is confident he will get permission.

If granted he hopes building work can start on March 1, St David’s Day, 2011 and finish in time for St David’s Day 2012.

Mr Wingett made an appeal to all Welsh people to pay £1 to help fund the project which could cost between £6m and £9m.

The 136ft tower with a 75ft Welsh dragon would be at land at Chirk Park next to the A5 and would include viewing areas, an art gallery, bar, restaurant and space for language study.

Since the appeal officially began about three weeks ago about £4,000 has been raised.

In addition IMG Limited, who are specialists and innovators within the chemical industry, have pledged to donate one per cent of sales made in Wales to the appeal.

Mr Wingett said: “Now is the time for Wales to push herself forward as a clear world leader when it comes to business opportunities.

“The Dragon will ensure Wales has a strong and symbolic international face encouraging synergy with the powerful and emerging ‘dragon economies’ such as China and India.”

This is all about raising the profile of Wales and putting North Wales and Wrexham on the map.

“My appeal to every Welsh person in the world to help pay £1 towards this.”

It is estimated that the proposal will attract over 200,000 visitors a year and create 45 jobs, injecting approximately £10.75 million directly into the local economy, enhancing Welsh culture, identity and the local landscape.

Mr Wingett’s aim is also to commemorate his father, well-known local businessman Frank Wingett, who died from throat cancer in 1988.

He says the project, called Waking the Dragon, could raise £1 million a year for charity as part of the Frank Wingett Cancer Appeal.

“It will be raising huge sums of money to give cancer sufferers a better quality of life and dignity of life,” he continued.

“There isn’t anything about this project that Wrexham should be afraid of.

“Why shouldn’t North Wales have something rather magnificent that will do so much good?

“Wales is the only culture in the Western world to have a dragon on its flag – we should celebrate the dragon.

“It will welcome people into this gateway to Wales.”

If you can help by donating a pound or more for the dragon appeal you should go to the Frank Wingett Charity shop at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

You can also pledge your pound at www.thewelshdragon.co.uk.

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