High hopes as Chirk dragon tower bid submitted

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Staff reporter

A PLANNING application for a 200-foot dragon tower in Chirk has now been submitted to Wrexham Council.

The massive £9 million project is due to go before councillors next month.

The man behind the groundbreaking project, art dealer and auctioneer Simon Wingett, said that after a huge amount of hard work from many people connected to the initiative he was delighted the proposal had been handed in to the local authority for consideration.

“After all the input that has gone into the initiative the only thing we can do now is have our fingers crossed and see what happens,” he said.

If the application gets the green light it is hoped the building can be completed in about a year, meaning it could be ready for St David’s Day in 2012 and as a destination that would be of great interest to visitors coming to the UK later on in the summer .

“The impact could be colossal for the Wrexham area, North East Wales and Wales as a whole. There would be a massive boost for the tourist industry and it would really help to put the nation on the world map,” said Mr Wingett.

“You have to be confident about the project. I wouldn’t have embarked on it otherwise. This helps to highlight the very best of everything Welsh.”

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

It is estimated the proposal would attract more than 200,000 visitors a year and create 45 jobs, injecting about £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 added.

See full story in the Leader

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