CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES has backed an ambitious new project to revitalise the former steelworks site in Brymbo.
Speaking about the issue in the Senedd on Wednesday, the AM said developing a Heritage Area on the site had big potential.
A report commissioned by Parkin Heritage & Tourism for the Brymbo Heritage Group said the features of the area – the fossilised forest, ironworks and wider ecological area could be developed into a viable visitor attraction with ‘international significance’.
The AM has backed the project and called on the Welsh Government to help make the ambitious vision a reality.
Speaking in the Senedd on Wednesday, CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES, said:
“The vision for a new multi-use visitor and education centre on the Brymbo site is certainly very exciting.
“The comprehensive feasibility report commissioned by Brymbo Heritage Group makes clear there is potential to develop a first-class Heritage Area on the land of the old steel and ironworks in the village.
“The fossilised forest, the historic former ironworks buildings and the surrounding ecological area could be developed as a viable heritage and geological attraction, bringing in much needed jobs and income to the area.
“We all realise money is tight, but I have asked the Minister for Heritage to carefully consider the report and work closely with the community to explore every possibility for the future of the project.
“What is crystal clear is that Brymbo is a very special site within North East Wales. It is one of a number of areas, including the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site, which offer a concentration of attractions that can become a major focus for visitors over the coming years.
“A project such as this will also help secure the future of the area and its history, some of which is very fragile indeed. The fossilised forest is one of only a few such sites in the world and the former ironworks buildings are in a very worrying state of disrepair.
“Instead of them simply being left to rot away, we need to develop them so we can ensure they become a tool to educate our young people about Brymbo and its natural environment in the past.
“With appropriate investment, phased over a number of years, the Brymbo project can become a viable attraction in its own right as part of a multi-use education complex.”
In July 2012 Brymbo Heritage Group (BHG) commissioned a feasibility study into the viability of developing a Heritage Area on the site of the old steelworks in Brymbo. Funded by Northern Marches Cymru with match funding from the Countryside Council for Wales, it was undertaken by Parkin Heritage & Tourism and the report produced in January 2013.