HOPES RAISED: Announcement on Wrexham’s ‘levelling up’ funding bids
The Wrexham Gateway project will result in the redevelopment of the site around Wrexham General station, Image: Wrexham Council
Hopes have been raised that an announcement will soon be made on whether two multi-million pound bids to regenerate parts of Wrexham have been successful.
Senior councillors approved a request for a combined total of £28.5m from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund in June.
A bid of £18.3m was put forward as part of plans to transform the Mold Road gateway into the town, which could see a new 5,000-seat stand built at the Kop end of Wrexham AFC’s Racecourse Ground.
A four-star hotel, multi-storey car park and conferencing and hospitality facility have also been suggested as part of efforts to boost the area’s economy.
A separate application was made for £10.2m from the same pot to improve the area around the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Trevor.
The scheme includes proposals to alleviate parking problems at the World Heritage Site, along with the creation of a visitor centre, treetops walk and campsite.
Wrexham Council’s chief executive Ian Bancroft said the local authority had recently requested an update on the bids and was hopeful of an announcement before the end of autumn.
Speaking at a media briefing held today (Tuesday, October 5), he said: “I had correspondence on Friday as we chased the UK Government just in terms of their timings.
“Their answer was: ‘We’d always said the autumn and anticipate it will be shortly’.
“The feedback we’re getting is that they’re very good project submissions, in terms of having all the detail that’s required.
“What we’ve learned is a lot of bids were put in, so it is going to be quite a competitive process.”
If the applications are approved, money will be provided via a £4.8 billion capital fund announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in March to invest in local infrastructure across the UK.
Wrexham has been identified as one of three priority areas in north Wales and the bids have been backed by Wrexham MP Sarah Atherton and Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes.
All money provided through the fund must be spent by March 31, 2024, which means the projects are likely to move forward quickly if successful.
Words: Liam Randall, Local Democracy Reporter
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