RESIDENTS should have been “at the heart of the project” to install artwork at Flint Castle.

As a second petition has been launched calling for a red dragon to replace the proposed Iron Ring structure at the historical Flint site, opponents of the original plan have welcomed the start of a wider debate.

A second petition has been launched online that states Wales' symbolic dragon should be installed rather than the divisive ring proposal.

The petition, launched by Jennifer Hulme, states: “Iconic Welsh Dragon to create new attraction at Flint Castle for children to explore and visitors to enjoy.

“Our version of the Angel of the North – the Great Dragon of Flint and North Wales.

“Visible from the Wirral
hopefully too.”

Plaid Cymru representative Mabon ap Gwynfor, who strongly opposed the Iron Ring plan, said it was positive that residents had begun to engage on what should be installed.

He said: “The news that people are starting to debate what form of public art should be placed at Flint is welcomed.

“This is how it should have been from the beginning, with the people of Flint at the heart of the project.

“Those of us who opposed the Iron Ring didn’t oppose developing a nationally significant piece of art in Flint. To the contrary.

“Flint in particular, and the North-East of Wales in general, has long been ignored by the establishment.

“Flint and the area has played a crucial role in the development of our nation, and the people of Flint should have ownership of it.”

He continued: “Flint is an integral part of Wales, and this needs to be recognised and celebrated.

“My understanding is that this piece of art should celebrate a Welsh legend.

“The dragon certainly fits that bill.

“The area is rich in legends from the Arthurian legends to the legend that is [taekwondo star] Jade Jones, whose story speaks to so many people and shows the best of Flint and Wales.

“Whatever is developed there should be done so with the
people of Flint and the area at its very core.”

More than 11,000 people have signed the original petition calling for the Iron Ring plans to be scrapped altogether.

Ken Skates, Welsh Government economy secretary and also the AM for Clwyd South, said they would take time to “pause and review” after the backlash in response to the design.

His Senedd colleague, Delyn AM Hannah Blythyn, welcomed input from across the community on the statue.

She said: “In light of the Welsh Government’s decision to ‘pause and review’ plans for a sculpture at Flint Castle, I welcome suggestions and the input coming directly from our local community.

“It remains my intention to ensure the voices of my constituents are heard, and I will be working hard to seek the views of people and organisations in our area.”