Historic sites in Wrexham facing transfer to trusts


Iwan Berry

WREXHAM Council will have to outsource the running of a raft of historic sites and libraries to save money, according to a new report.

Community centres and historical sites currently run by Wrexham Council could be passed on to the ownership of trusts, volunteers or non-profit organisations as the council battles with savings targets of upwards of £11million for the next financial year.

And the county’s libraries are also recommended to be passed on to a culture trust – either a new non-profit group or an existing trust.

Wrexham Museum, Holt Castle, Bersham Colliery and the Minera lead mines are among the landmark attractions which could leave council hands, along with 10 libraries throughout the county and four community resource centres.

It follows a raft of community centres and other community facilities already taken over by community councils and other groups this year.

The report was due to be put to Wrexham council’s executive board at a meeting next week, but a split in the council’s leading Labour group means the meeting will be deferred until October.

The council has already carried out ‘soft marketing’ exercises to test the interest of external organisations and potential competition.

If unable to pass on the assets, the council would need to establish a non-profit distributing organisation (NPDO) before April next year.

The move comes as the council looks to open up consultation on cuts worth £11million which will need to be made for 2015-16, with handing over the library and heritage services one of the many money-saving proposals under discussion.

Cllr Neil Rogers, leader of the council, speaking prior to his resignation from the Labour group, said volunteers in Gresford had done an “excellent job” in taking over the running of the village library in May this year and that could be an example to other areas.

Arts provision in the county also looks to be hit early next year, after the Oriel Wrexham gallery site was earmarked for development as a new satellite station for North Wales Police.

If police go ahead with proposals to move main headquarters from Bodhyfryd to Llay in 2016, it will have to take over the gallery from March, 2015.

Arts fans would have to wait until 2017 before a new, permanent hub came to the town.

See full story in the Leader

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