Former steelworks talks ‘productive’ says councillor

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

A SUMMIT meeting about the future of the former ironworks buildings at Brymbo as been described as “productive” by one of those involved.

Late last year a report by Wrexham Council’s chief planning officer Lawrence Isted highlighted “severe difficulties” with the buildings, which are on the old steelworks site.

The deteriorating condition of the scheduled ancient monuments and listed building were described as a matter of grave concern.

A structural assessment by Wales heritage body CADW found revealed the estimated cost for the minimum works required to give temporary protection would exceed £350,000, with a full restoration exceeding £3 million.

Conservative councillor for Brymbo Paul Rogers had expressed concern about the situation, which resulted in a meeting at the Guildhall between himself, representatives of CADW and Wrexham Council officers.

Cllr Rogers, who is also Conservative Welsh Assembly Candidate for Clwyd South and the party’s special policy advisor on heritage, said: “The meeting between key stakeholders and CADW was productive and I feel helped focus minds on the key issues.

“The key stumbling block to achieving the community’s vision is the lack of funding to get the ball rolling.

“The desire is certainly there to take this forward by all parties.

“I am confident that the key stakeholders will now work together on an action plan to take this project forward.”

He added: “The council is also monitoring the condition of the listed Agent’s House on the site which received further damage to its roof during recent high winds.

“It is possible that the council could take action to ensure the building is weatherproof.”

Pioneering industrialist John Wilkinso bought the Brymbo Hall site in 1792 as the area had everything he needed for smelting iron.

Coal, ironstone, clay and limestone were all present on or close to the site.

In 1794 work began on the number 1 furnace and production continued for almost
two centuries.

Today the site is regularly visited by school groups and historians keen to see the iconic buildings and the fossilised forest.

See full story in the Leader

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