A shortlist of possible names for Wrexham’s new £4.5m arts hub have been revealed.
The shortlist, which goes to a public vote, was unveiled at the Guildhall in Wrexham yesterday and includes three Welsh language names: Cartef (Home), Ty Pawb (Everybody’s House) and Oriel M (Gallery M).
Wrexham Council held a public exhibition where visitors could vote for a name and find out more about the development at the People’s Market on Chester Street.
James Stevens, of Penycae, said: “Obviously there was a lot of animosity towards it because Wrexham isn’t culturally an arts centre, is it – it’s more of an idustrial, working class town.
“I’ve got a degree in film and photography, so I was for it. If I was in the council I wouldn’t have voted for it, because it would’ve been against the people’s wishes; but now it’s here, then we try and make the best of it, don’t we?”
Mark Williams, visiting on behalf of the Wrexham Jobcentre, said that the hub was a “great opportunity for the area”.
He added: “It’s a great development. The Arts Council in Wrexham have made a tremendous amount of effort into changing the hub, we’re fully behind it and I think the jobcentre itself want to support it as much as we can.
“That’s why we’ve come down – to see if there’s anything we can do to assist with work experience, employment or publicising the project.”
John Morris, 72, of Coed y Glyn, said: “It’s a great plan, but it’s going to be in a dead centre. Everywhere’s closed – Henblas Street, everywhere.
“I think they’ve planned in reverse order. As a consultant who works with consultants on planning in colleges, they wouldn’t be spending this amount of money first without knowing that they’d already got contracts to attract people to TJ Hughes, to fill up the shops in Henblas Street, to ensure there’s other things going on. They wouldn’t do it.
“I think it’s a great idea, it’s marvellous, but I think they’ve done it in reverse order, and in fact it could become another white elephant.
The three names will also go to various venues around the county for the public to choose their favourite.
Voting will be held at Cafe in the Corner in the South Arcade, Oriel Wrecsam on Chester Street, Wrexham County Borough Museum, Wrexham Library, the Tourist Information Centre, Contact Wrexham, Plas Pentwyn, Brynteg, Acton, Gwersyllt and Llay Resource Centres.
There will also be an opportunity to vote at the Wrexham Street Festival on July 29 and finally the Play Day on August 2.
Wrexham Council will also conduct an online poll and further information about this will be available soon its Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Cllr Hugh Jones, lead member for communities, partnerships, public protection and community safety, said: “I’m sure people will have a favourite and I encourage everyone to have their say on which one they prefer.
“This will ensure we have a name for this unique and exciting facility that is truly representative of the people of Wrexham.”
Cllr Jones will inform the September executive board meeting of the winning name.
Contractors Wynne Construction were also at the event on Monday to update the public on their progress and offer businesses information on supply chain opportunities.
Quantity surveyor Alan Davies said: “Work is going a lot better this week. It’s taken us a while to get where we are with different issues and problems with the building and associated things, but we’ve all seen this week that it’s just starting to flow now.
“We’ve cleared the building, we’ve finished doing all the demolition works and we’re actually building walls and the new market stalls as of this week. It’s really turned the corner now so we’re really optimistic.”
Building works are scheduled to be completed by March, 2018, and a celebratory launch event is planned for April 2.
The project – which is supported by funding from the Arts Council for Wales, the Welsh Government’s Vibrant and Viable Places scheme and Wrexham Council – will be spread over two tiers.
The ground floor will have space for more than 650 square metres of market stall provision, a main gallery exhibition space and second gallery, performance areas, one including tiered seating, casual market stalls such as for an arts and craft market or Christmas market, a food court, a visitor welcome area and arts gift shop and new WCs and baby change area.
On the second floor there will be creative space studios, a learning studio, office accommodation, informal seating spaces, further WCs and utility facilities.