ASSEMBLY member Ken Skates has welcomed the rapid and ‘exciting’ progress of a volunteer-run restoration project which will breathe new life into a derelict site.
Mr Skates, the Labour AM for Clwyd South, met members of the Brymbo Heritage Group (BHG) at the village’s former steelworks site on Friday (April 11) for an update on developments with the Welsh Government-supported scheme, which is aiming to create a visitor attraction, commercial centre and study base.
Ken Skates AM discusses the project’s progress with members of Brymbo Heritage Group.
The Welsh Labour Government awarded the volunteers £18,000 – in addition to £25,000 pledged by heritage guardian Cadw – to pay for emergency work to save the run-down buildings at the site, which closed in 1990.
Mr Skates said: “The investment enabled the team to fund desperately-needed remedial work to save the weather-damaged buildings from demolition, which is now nearly complete. I have long been a supporter of this ambitious project, and I’m delighted we have been able to help get things moving.”
After the stabilisation work completed on the early-18th century Pattern Makers’ Workshop is completed by Wrexham firm Maelor Construction Ltd, the group will look to secure more funding for similar work on the adjacent buildings – all of which suffered extensive damage during last winter’s heavy snow.
Mr Skates added: “The company has done a fantastic job in preserving these important buildings. I’m now looking forward to the next stage of this exciting project, which – when completed – will breathe new life into this important site and could bring major economic benefits to the area.”
The proposed Brymbo Heritage Area forms the north-western tip of the former steelworks site. An application for housing at the southern end was approved by Wrexham County Borough Council in September, with the aim that money from the sale of the first phase of homes will release cash for landowners Brymbo Developments Ltd to build a spine road through the site – which is key to getting the long-awaited project up and running.
BHG spokesman Brian Stapley said work on the spine road could start within the next few weeks, and it is hoped additional funding can be secured to enable a seamless transition to the second phase of work on the buildings. Mr Skates said: “I am thrilled to see the plans taking shape, and I will continue to help the group explore all possible funding streams and opportunities to help them realise this fantastic project and bring it to fruition.”