£70,000 marketing campaign to revive Wrexham town centre after Covid
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
Civic leaders are planning to spend £70,000 to fund a marketing campaign aimed at reviving Wrexham town centre.
Businesses in the town have been forced to close on a number of occasions throughout the coronavirus pandemic due to lockdown measures.
It has resulted in footfall in the main shopping area dropping significantly since the outbreak began in March last year.
Wrexham’s Civic Leadership Group (CLG) is now seeking external experts to create new branding and a marketing campaign to attract people back to the town.
A tender notice issued by the group, which includes representatives from Wrexham Council, Glyndwr University and other key organisations and businesses, states: “Wrexham town centre has been in decline for a number of years and this has been exacerbated by the impact of the global Covid pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of public and private life beyond all recognition and consequentially the impact on the economy and society at a local, national and international level is likely at a scale not seen since the 1940s.
“The country and therefore Wrexham town centre has experienced various periods of lockdown since March 2020.
“Some headline impacts of lockdown include that typically, there have been only 21 town centre shops that have traded throughout this period.
“Our vision for Wrexham is that it should be a place where we can test unique and innovative solutions to the problems we face and restore public confidence.
“We support green infrastructure and biodiversity and wish to show our ability to adapt to changing circumstances in light of the challenges we, along with many places in Wales and the UK, are facing.”
The document shows rates relief grants worth more than £24.5 million have been paid to 2,076 businesses in Wrexham during the pandemic.
It also highlights that the town has come under “acute pressure” after losing big name stores like Debenhams in the last year.
It adds: “Cleanliness, hygiene, safety and ability to social distance, both in-store and in public areas, have been cited as key factors in attracting people back to town centres.
“Clear signage, accessibility and walkability are therefore all important factors, as are fresh food and everyday essentials within walking distance of people’s homes and improved air quality.
“All partners of the CLG will actively commit to positive PR around the town centre, alongside promotion of the new branding.”
The notice shows funding for the contract has been provided by the Welsh Government, Wrexham Council, Glyndwr University and Coleg Cambria.
The successful bidder will be expected to deliver a six-month marketing campaign, including a “strong brand concept”, in both English and Welsh.
The contract is expected to be awarded in June, with the promotional campaign beginning in August.