FUNDING SNUB: Council still confident over future of gateway scheme
The Wrexham Gateway project will result in the redevelopment of the site around Wrexham General station, Image: Wrexham Council
A council leader has expressed confidence that plans to transform one of the main gateways into Wrexham can still move forward.
It comes despite a £18.3m bid to drive the scheme ahead being turned down under the first round of the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
Wrexham Council had hoped money would be green lit to deliver a number of developments along Mold Road, including a new 5,000-seat stand at the Kop end of Wrexham AFC’s Racecourse Ground.
A four-star hotel, conferencing and hospitality facility and multi-storey car park were also included as part of proposals to boost the area’s economy.
However, although a £13.3m bid to revitalise the area around the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was successful, the gateway scheme was not included in the list of approved projects announced last week.
Council leader Mark Pritchard said he was still optimistic it would progress AS the local authority intends to apply again under the next round of funding.
He said: “We are extremely pleased to have had a successful Levelling Up Fund bid for the aqueduct and canal, with Denbighshire as a joint partner the only authorities in North Wales to have secured funding from the UK Government under this round of bids and we remain firmly committed to secure the funding required for the Wrexham Gateway.
“£25 million has already been committed by the Welsh Government for this high profile project and moving it further in the coming months is a priority.
“I am pleased to confirm we will be able to consider applying for funding under phase two of the Levelling Up Fund by the UK Government who has reaffirmed its commitment to levelling up the whole of the UK.
“We remain confident for the future of the Wrexham Gateway project and I would like to thank everyone involved for their continued and unwavering support to Wrexham and the wider North Wales area.”
The £25m already set aside by the Welsh Government will be used to create a transport hub at Wrexham General railway station.
Wrexham was previously identified as one of three priority areas in North Wales under the Levelling Up Fund, which is aimed at investing in local infrastructure.
The gateway bid has been backed by the town’s MP Sarah Atherton, who was elected as its first ever Conservative representative in Westminster in 2019.
The UK Government said applications for the second round of the fund will open in spring 2022 with further details to be announced in the near future.
Words: Liam Randall, Local Democracy Reporter
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