A major heritage project, looking to shape up some of Wrexham’s best industrial and prehistorical assets, has some good news which will allow it to revamp one of its most recognisable features.
The Brymbo Heritage Trust recently received confirmation of £1.1m in funding from the Big Lottery Fund, which will go towards renovation of the former Machine House – one of the most prominent signs of Brymbo’s industrial past and the history of the Steelworks.
Built in the 1920s, the Machine Shop played a strong role in the day-to-day life of the Steelworks, turning out parts and repairs for the rolling steel mills.
Since 2005, it is the only building remaining from the steelworks era, and has served as a daily base for Heritage Trust’s team of volunteers.
Volunteers have carried out a number of gradual works on the Machine Shop building, while also using it as a base for activities such as brewing cider, providing refreshments to visitors, and exhibiting fossils from the nearby Fossil Forest and memorabilia from the Steelworks’ heyday.
But the building still needs weatherproofing and insulating, with a number of broken window panes and holes in the roof left since the works closed.
Thanks to the £1.1m Big Lottery funding, the Machine Shop will be given a new lease of life, with a new roof, glazing and floor to be installed.
The work is due to start in the summer, with the renewed building set to open in the spring of 2019.
The front part of the site will be used to hold arts, exhibition, social and entertainment events, with trials to see what works in the new space from early 2019 onwards. The area could become a reception space and main exhibition area when the site re-opens in 2021.
The rear of the redeveloped Machine Shop will become a workshop again, giving a space for the training of construction trades with the help of Coleg Cambria and other providers.
Those trained at the new workshops will be involved in the further redevelopment of the Brymbo Heritage area, including narrow gauge railway platforms and garage platforms.
Cllr Paul Rogers, Local Member for Brymbo, said: “Wrexham Council has always been a very keen supporter of the work carried out by the Brymbo Heritage Project right from its inception, and it’s very pleasing to see that the former Machine Shop will be one of the first parts of the project to see physical regeneration thanks to the funding.
“That building means a lot to the people of Brymbo and figures a lot in the history of the area, so it’s very fitting that it will be the first element to see major work.”
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