By Lesley Griffiths

MS for Wrexham

The Wrexham Gateway project has the potential to deliver something truly transformative for our city.

A partnership consisting of the Welsh Government, Wrexham County Borough Council, Transport for Wales, Wrexham Glyndwr University, the FAW and Wrexham AFC are working together to regenerate the area centred around the Mold Road and Wrexham General Station – a key corridor into the city.

In addition to purchasing key areas of land to enable the project to develop, the Welsh Government pledged £25m in 2021, with the focus at the time centring around the ‘eastern’ side of the scheme. Plans to develop a public transport interchange at Wrexham General Station are advancing.

The other part of the project is the ‘western’ side, effectively the Racecourse site, and the Kop Stand redevelopment is by far the most advanced aspect of the overall project, with planning consent in place and the new replacement floodlights erected.

Readers will remember the project experienced a significant setback in January 2023 when the Tory UK Government once again failed to step up to the plate and rejected Wrexham’s bid for “Levelling-Up” Funding.

Thankfully, the key partners were undeterred and in April 2023, Wrexham Council announced a substantial proportion of the £25m funding would be reallocated from the eastern side of the scheme to allow the western side to advance.

The Gateway Project is something I’ve long supported and I am proud the Welsh Government is investing in Wrexham. The aim of the project has always been to benefit Wrexham as a whole and at the time of the announcement, some constituents contacted me concerned about the ramifications for the original eastern side of the project given such a significant amount of funding was being reallocated.

I have received assurances from the Welsh Government the partnership remains committed to delivering the whole Wrexham Gateway. The allocation of a considerable share of the £25m was only agreed by the partnership on condition that Wrexham Council committed £8m of its own funds to the eastern side of the project area.

Work on designing the functionality of the road / rail public transport interchange is set to commence imminently and commercial discussions are ongoing with respect to other aspects. There is an acknowledgement further public funding will be required to deliver the project in its entirety and options such as the North Wales Growth Deal are being explored.

The partnership firmly believes the development of a landmark structure at the newly renamed STok Cae Ras delivers benefits which extend far beyond increasing the capacity for the football club. The strategic aim of the partnership is to facilitate the return of competitive international football, rugby union and rugby league to North Wales. Constructing a new Kop is seen as a statement of intent which will help unlock other aspects. For example, the proposed hotel on the junction between Crispin Lane and Mold Road becomes a more attractive investment proposition with the new stand in place.

I will, of course, continue to support the project and am pleased partners remain committed to delivering this game changing development for the people of Wrexham.