Dragon champion to tackle Minister over £9m Chirk project

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

THE man behind a £9 million scheme to build a huge Welsh dragon tower at the gateway to Wrexham is due to meet a Government minister in an attempt to move the project forward.

Art dealer Simon Wingett, of Erbistock, aims to build the 200ft tall landmark on land next to the A483 near Chirk.

He is due to meet the Welsh Assembly Government Heritage Minister today to ask what the government can do to help the project take flight.

The structure would have a commanding view across Wrexham and the borderlands and would feature an art gallery, bar, restaurant and space for language study.

It would be topped by a 25m tall dragon, made from a mixture of bronze and steel.

Mr Wingett’s aim is 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 create up to 50 jobs and raise £1 million a year for the Frank Wingett Cancer Appeal.

On a visit to Llandegla last July Welsh Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones told the Leader he “broadly supported” the plan. Mr Wingett said: “I have an hour’s meeting arranged with the Minister this morning.

“I will be saying to him ‘OK, you supported the idea when asked about it by the Leader, now what can you do to oil the wheels for this unique project to go ahead?’.”

Mr Wingett said the project is due to considered by Wrexham’s planning committee in the first week of December.

He said: “When the Ryder Cup came to Wales everybody was saying the country must emulate its success with another project which would help put Wales on the international map.

“The dragon would do just that and I want to talk to the Minister about exactly what his government can do to help achieve that.”

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