FOOTBALL may well be coming home at last as a feasibility study, commissioned by the Welsh Government, has recommended that a new national museum for the sport should be created in the town of Wales’ oldest club, Wrexham.

A separate report, though, has concluded that a new national gallery of contemporary art should be spread around existing galleries in the country, and could scupper any plans for a national football museum in the town.

Ministers are yet to decide on whether to accept either of the recommendations with both proposals set to be debated by assembly members on Tuesday, before a final decision is made in 2019.

Wrexham AM, Lesley Griffiths, has welcomed the conclusions of the study, saying: “Establishing a dedicated national football museum at the rightful home of Welsh football is something I have long-called for and I am certainly pleased with the findings.

“Wrexham as a town is proud to be Welsh and passionate about football, which makes it the ideal location. I am certain the museum would be a thriving success, encouraging more visitors to the town and providing a major boost for the area in general.

“The study’s recommendation is a positive step in the right direction. No final decision has yet been made but I have already spoken to ministers and will continue to make representations to the Welsh Government in support of the development.”

About the findings of the study, a Welsh Government spokesman added: “Ensuring the continued survival of our sporting heritage requires significant commitment and long-term investment.

“Presenting this heritage to the people of Wales in an exciting and meaningful way presents an extraordinary challenge.

“The report makes practical recommendations for the future and a plenary debate has been arranged for November 27 in order to hear the thoughts of Assembly Members. This is an opportunity for us to look at what works best for Wales and the recommendations provide the basis of a long-term vision for celebrating Wales’ sporting heritage.

“These actions are not for the Welsh Government alone and further conversations will need to take place. This report is the start of those conversations and following feedback on the recommendations, a decision on the way forward will be made in early 2019.”

Just Solutions, authors of the national football museum report, estimate the cost of creating the site in Wrexham to be £4.4m and would involve redeveloping Wrexham Museum.

It will also cost the Welsh Government approximately £144,500 per year to go towards running costs.

The leisure consultants believe that approximately 80,000 visitors would go to the museum each year and say that Wrexham was chosen due to it being the “spiritual home” of Welsh football.

Wrexham is already home to the Welsh Football Collection which features more than 1,000 items, dating back over 100 years, and includes memorabilia from John Toshack, Ian Rush and Billy Meredith. Another 1,400 artefacts, meanwhile, reside in a Welsh Sports Hall of Fame in Cardiff.

There are also several smaller sports museums already in existence in Wales, including the CC4 Museum of Welsh Cricket at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, as well as the rugby collection held by Carmarthen Athletic RFC Museum of Sporting Memorabilia.

Plans for a national football museum in Wrexham, though, are potentially up against proposals for a new contemporary art gallery which has been recommended to government officials by Event Communications.

Their report culminates in recommending a headquarters in Wales for a decentralised gallery to be built in time “serving as a porous and vibrant platform for contemporary art”.

It estimates that the cost of the project could range between £50m to a potential £180m.