Ambitious plans to transform Brymbo Steelworks site are to be backed


Jonathan Grieve

An ambitious plan to overhaul one of Wrexham’s landmark industrial heritage sites is to be backed.

Proposals to renegerate the former iron and steelworks site in Brymbo, which Wrexham Council’s lead member for communities and partnership, Cllr Hugh Jones, said was the “birthplace of the industrial revolution”, will be supported by the authority when its executive board meets next week.

The Brymbo Heritage Trust, which is behind the renovation, is reliant on funding from external sources including the Heritage Lottery Fund, the BIG Lottery and Welsh Government to carry out its plans.

And as per recommendations in a report to go before the executive board, council officers will be on hand to provide support for the development of proposals, while letters of support will be written by Cllr Jones to help with funding bids. 

After many years of development and extensive consultation with residents and potential partners, the trust is now ready to deliver the first phase of its vision for the Brymbo Heritage Area.

In September and December 2016, the trust submitted major capital funding bids to a range of funders to help deliver Phase 1 between now and 2020.

One of the key elements of this is the refurbishment of the Machine Shop.

A second key element of Phase 1 is getting a building over the fossil forest to allow a five to eight year excavation programme to take place indoors.

Cllr Jones said: “This entire project does not cost the council money but it is very significant.

“The fossil forest at Brymbo which is part of the heritage area is significant in terms of the international stage.

“The community of Brymbo has come together to support this project and the commercial owners of the site have worked with the Brymbo Heritage Trust.

“It is a really good example of the council, private sector and volunteers working in partnership to deliver a significant site for Wrexham and the local community.

“This is a hugely important site in terms of the industrial heritage of Wrexham. It’s on a par with Ironbridge.

“In fact, it is often said that Ironbridge [near Telford] was where the industrial revolution started but if we look back, Brymbo and Minera did it first. You could say Wrexham was the birthplace of the industrial revolution.”

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