Official opening unveils Wrexham’s hidden treasures

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

WREXHAM Museum has been officially re-opened following a £2 million facelift.

The project has been completed with the help of a £950,00 injection from the Heritage Lottery Fund and financial backing from the Welsh Assembly Government.

Over the past 12 months the building has been fully modernised to include a host of new attractions and interactive displays designed for all the family.

These include ‘Smelly Old Wrexham’ where visitors can follow their nose through the streets of the Victorian town and take in the aroma of the famous Wrexham Brewery.

For the first time there is also a gallery dedicated to showing highlights from the national collections in North East Wales.

At the front of the building is a large glazed extension to house the Bwtri, the new coffee area and museum shop.

The newest gallery will proudly display Hall of Heroes – The Candidates, an exhibition dedicated to the Welsh Football Association players who have earned their caps at The Racecourse ground.

The museum also features two other galleries which pay homage to Wrexham’s heritage.

One is Our Heritage, Our Stories – a unique exhibition put together in partnership with local history societies from around Wrexham which aims to tell stories from their local communities through carefully selected historic objects.

Amgueddfa Cymru, together with the National Library of Wales, is planning an exhibition in a new dedicated space in the museum this summer which will tell the cultural story of Wales through its national collections.

The aim is to celebrate the arrival of the National Eisteddfod in Wrexham and mark 150 years of the biggest event in the Welsh social calendar.

Also displayed in Wrexham will be information about the Peoples’ Collection Wales, a contemporary, interactive and bilingual online experience dedicated to the history of Wales and its people. It can be found at www.peoplescollectionwales.co.uk.

At the re-opening ceremony Cllr Bob Dutton, deputy leader of the council and lead member for communities and performance, said: “This is a fantastic day which represents a lot of commitment by a lot of people.”

Because of commitments in the Senedd, Wales’ Minister for Heritage, Alun Ffred Jones, was unable to be present as planned, but he sent a message in which said that the museum’s facelift was important not just to the local area but the whole of Wales.

The Mayor of Wrexham, Cllr Jim Kelly, unveiled a plaque to commemorate the re-opening.

One of Wales’ top historians, Professor John Davies, was guest speaker at the official re-opening of the museum.

In his speech he said the facelifted facility would help stress Wrexham’s importance as the “chief urban centre in the north”.  Later in the day the public were allowed in to see improvements for the first time.

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