THE OLD Hippodrome site was turned into a play area to mark the visit of City of Culture judges to Wrexham. 

On Wednesday (May 11), the City of Culture 2025 judging panel visited the county borough, where the council and partners had the opportunity to showcase the best of Wrexham, ahead of the announcement of the winner later this month. 

Judges visited The Venture adventure playground in Caia Park, play schemes on Henblas Square and had lunch in Ty Pawb. 

The Leader: The City of Culture judging panel has lunch in Ty Pawb. The City of Culture judging panel has lunch in Ty Pawb.

In the afternoon they went to Wrexham AFC's Racecourse stadium, the world's oldest football ground, and visited the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct world heritage site. 

One aspect of Wrexham's bid which was showcased was the promotion of childhood play.

READ MORE: City of Culture judges visit Wrexham - and reveal what they are looking for in a winner

Henblas Square, and the old Hippodrome site, have been turned into a giant play area this week - with local primary schools invited down to join in the fun.

The Leader:

Gareth Stacey, of the Wrexham Play and Youth Support Team, said: "Play is one of the central themes of the Wrexham City of Culture bid. So this event is about demonstrating how play can be incorporated in the town centre.

"It's about how we can build on already existing relationships between the play and arts teams in Wrexham and push that forward in the future."

He added: "If Wrexham is successful in its bid, the possibilities for redeveloping the town centre by using spaces like we have this week with the old Hippodrome site for children's play is something we can really build on."

Marianne Mannello, assistant director of Play Wales, said: "Wrexham should be proud of its good tradition of supporting and promoting children's play. It has a children's play team and a network of adventure playgrounds.

"The fact the play team is taking play into the public realm, into the town centre and reminding people how important play is - it teaches children to be creative and express themselves."

READ MORE: Arts Minister discusses 'excitement' in Wrexham ahead of City of Culture decision

She added: "I wish Wrexham all the best with its bid, and I know the children of Wrexham do, too."

In Ty Pawb, judges were serenaded by the brilliant Rhos Orpheus Male Voice Choir as they enjoyed their lunch.