THERE are 'exciting times ahead' at Wrexham's historic barracks as a new training college, field hospital detachment, and an anti-tank company have been based there.

A mental health clinic, providing support to serving personnel from North and Mid Wales as well as the North West of England, has also be relocated to Wrexham.

Investment in the site, some of which is particularly aimed at young people, means the future of the barracks looks assured.

Hightown Barracks has been part of life in Wrexham since the 19th Century, and the Army says that its future is "vibrant and exciting".

Describing it as a "key military base, the 160th (Welsh) Brigade said the barracks usefulness showed no signs of waning following a number of engagements during a busy week of activity in North Wales.

STEM sessions delivered by 160th (Welsh) Brigade’s Regional Engagement Team at Coleg Cambria in Deeside.

STEM sessions delivered by 160th (Welsh) Brigade’s Regional Engagement Team at Coleg Cambria in Deeside.

Hightown Barracks recently welcomed the Motivational Preparation College for Training moving onto the site.

This is in addition to C Detachment from 203 (Welsh) Field Hospital, which has established a new detachment there and is keen to recruit medical professionals from the Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Wrexhams Hightown Barracks.

Wrexham's Hightown Barracks.

3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh has also established its new A Company at the location. A Company will operate the highly sophisticated Javelin anti-tank weapon system and will also provide a corps of drums capability to support its drums platoon in South Wales.

Added to that is the new Defence Mental Health Clinic, which has moved into the barracks to support serving personnel from North and Mid Wales and North West England. This is an initial operating capability with a new facilities being developing in 2022.

Hightown Barracks is also the servicing facilities for 398 Transport Squadron, Royal Logistics Corps.

STEM sessions delivered by 160th (Welsh) Brigade’s Regional Engagement Team at Coleg Cambria in Deeside.

STEM sessions delivered by 160th (Welsh) Brigade’s Regional Engagement Team at Coleg Cambria in Deeside.

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Lock OBE, who has recently been appointed as the newly established Joint Regional Liaison Officer for North Wales, said the Army’s investment in the site meant there were “exciting times” ahead there.

“We are delighted to have the Motivational Preparation and Training College move in here,” he said.

“With excellent facilities and space to train outside it is great to see young people being inspired and motivated within the barracks.

160th (Welsh) Brigade laid on various activities across the week with several youth organisations and schools, demonstrating the range of roles within the Army while encouraging STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), teamwork and wellbeing.

Employment agencies such as the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions), Careers Wales and training providers also attended Hightown Barracks to discuss the support offered to cadets, serving personnel, families and veterans looking to secure full-time employment.

Brigadier Andrew Dawes CBE, head of the Army in Wales and Commander 160th (Welsh) Brigade also visited the Defence Electronics and Components Agency in Sealand, Qioptiq in St Asaph and other Defence industry organisations across North Wales.

Daniel Jones, who served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for 23 years, is now a lecturer in electronic engineering at Coleg Cambria in Deeside.

He said: “It’s great to see young people get involved in engineering and you can see the enthusiasm they have for the build-a-vehicle task with the Brigade’s Regional Engagement Team. It’s the future in my eyes because there are so many opportunities in engineering and we have a lot of North East Wales companies already present up here.”

Lt Col Lock said: “We’re certainly making best use of the real estate to deliver tangible benefits for both Defence and new Reservist opportunities for the population of Wrexham and the surrounding areas. We fully intend to build on these capabilities to ensure the barracks can go from strength to strength.

“As a former Royal Welch Fusilier and now Royal Welshman, I am very focused on playing my part in continuing the proud military traditions that Hightown Barracks and Wrexham have with the Armed Forces.

“These are exciting times for the barracks.”