Ten individuals have been appointed to Wrexham’s City of Culture Interim Board ready for a second bid in 2029.

‘UK City of Culture’ is a competition run every four years by the Department for Digital, Culture and Sport (DCMS), where the title ‘UK City of Culture’ is awarded to a city, town or region within the UK for a period of one calendar year, during which the successful bidder hosts cultural festivities through culture-led regeneration for the year.

The purpose of the competition is to utilise culture as a catalyst for positive change in the community and has significant social and economic benefits for the area.

Last year Wrexham reached the final stages in the competition ending runner-up to Bradford who will host City of Culture 2025.

Having seen the cultural, social and economic benefits in competing and gaining this title, it was agreed that Wrexham would run again in 2029.

One of the key objectives for the early stages of the next bid was to establish an Interim Board to oversee and steer the work for Wrexham’s City of Culture campaign from Early 2023 through to the establishment of a new Cultural Community Trust anticipated to be in Early 2024.

The stewardship, ideas and decisions of the Interim Board will help raise the ambitions on what can be achieved as a community, and we set out to recruit individuals with relevant skills and experience in the following fields:

  • Arts & Culture
  • Individuals with International Connections
  • Business, Industry, Hospitality & Tourism
  • Education & Skills
  • Public Bodies
  • Media Professionals

Cllr Hugh Jones, lead member for City of Culture, Wrexham Council said: “We have been impressed and delighted with the number, calibre, enthusiasm and experience of the applicants to help steer the Wrecsam2029 bid to a successful winning entry.

“Many of the appointed members have high profiles across Wales and beyond, and, most importantly from within our community in Wrecsam. We came so close to winning last time and I have every confidence that we will host City of Culture 2029.”

After an initial expression of interest phase followed by interviews, we are delighted to announce the membership of the Board:

  • Joanna Swash (Chair)
  • Richard Nicholls
  • Professor Uzo Iwobi
  • Dawn Roberts-McCabe
  • Mike Corcoran
  • Neal Thompson
  • Kerry Evans
  • Graham Williams
  • Devinda de Silva
  • Gwennan Mair Jones

In addition to full Board members, we will be calling on the expertise of specific individuals to attend meetings as special advisors on a range of topics which include play, heritage and education.

Standing advisors to the Board have also been appointed; Ian Bancroft (Chief Executive WCBC), Amanda Davies (City Centre, Arts and Events Lead WCBC), Cllr Hugh Jones (Lead Member for Environments with responsibility for Tŷ Pawb and Arts) and Liam Evans-Ford (Executive Director, Theatr Clwyd).


Chair of the Interim Board and Group CEO of Moneypenny Joanna Swash said: “Being a City of Culture is all about people. Whether the conversation is about business or community, it’s so important that we engage with as many members of the local area as possible and get their ideas and opinions on what Wrexham’s year as hosts should look like.

“At its heart, our bid will be about ensuring culture will act as a catalyst for change – reinvigorating public spaces, shopping areas, the infrastructure and much more. Wrexham has a huge amount to offer and shout about.

“The award’s mission is to celebrate our varied and diverse culture to ‘level up’ areas of the UK, bringing increased productivity and opportunities both economically and socially.

I am looking forward to listening to all the voices and feedback, and working together to showcase how every single one of us already so proud of Wrexham can work together to achieve our area’s full potential.”

The first Board meeting will take place in mid-April and Wrexham Council said it is excited to get underway with plans during a very exciting moment for the Borough.