With recent announcements about competitions for the Platinum Jubilee and City of Culture 2025, which has an imminent closing date in July, our Executive Board will consider an additional report at its July meeting with recommendation to progress a stage 1 City of Culture application, and to explore a bid for City Status working with key stakeholders to identify the benefits.
Both these potential opportunities can provide significant benefits to Wrexham. Identifying and sharing the details of these benefits with stakeholders over the coming months would be a key part of the work on these projects.
The Council encourages local representatives, local stakeholders and communities to be positively part of this process over the coming months to support work that is critical to the economic recovery of the town and surrounding areas.
Cllr Mark Pritchard Leader of the Council said, “Both these opportunities provide a real opportunity to demonstrate locally, regionally and nationally the ambition that Wrexham has to properly fulfil its role as the major urban centre and heart of North Wales and in doing so provide significant benefits to local residents.”
Cllr Terry Evans Lead member for Economic Regeneration said, “Economic recovery is a priority over the coming months and these two opportunities will help show the confidence we all have in Wrexham and it is this confidence that creates the environment for investment in the area.”
Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety said, “Wrexham has a strong track record in this area having undertaken a year of Culture in 2011 and has rich cultural assets including Tŷ Pawb, the oldest international football ground in the World and a World Heritage Site to name a few, we want to celebrate with local residents the unique culture of Wrexham and the City of Culture 2025 provides a unique opportunity to do this.”
In relation to City Status the report outlines that it is likely that there will be a variety of views that stakeholders express about the implications of gaining City Status, some based on the benefits that this may bring and some based on people’s views about the perceptions associated with a ‘town’ and with a ‘city’.
The Council last bid for City Status in 2012 as part of the Queens Diamond Jubilee Honours. It is important if approval is given to explore a bid that there is stakeholder engagement (partners and community) in this application that is based on the benefits that city status will bring.
Maximising economic benefits for Wrexham at a time of recovery from Covid 19 is critical to the future success of Wrexham. Key pieces of work that will be required include, working with economic specialists to identify the benefits and any disadvantages associated with city status; engaging with stakeholders about these benefits to gain their views; identifying a key set of stakeholders who would work with the Council on advocating the bid.
The closing date for this bid is December 2021.