Bronze ambition for Hightown Barracks statue of Royal Welsh Fusilier and Regimental Goat
Rory Sheehan, local democracy reporter
A councillor has defended pushing on with a project to commemorate the Royal Welch Fusiliers at the former Hightown Barracks with a statue.
A lifesize bronze of a Royal Welsh Fusilier and Regimental Goat is to be installed as part of a memorial garden at the entrance to the barracks on Kingsmills Road, with hopes for a formal unveiling in March.
The project is the brainchild of Hermitage Councillor Graham Rogers, who approached Offa Community Council with the idea back in 2017.
It has since gained the backing of the community council which has driven the fundraising, but estimated costs for the project have since risen from £95,000 to more than £120,000 over the last few years with inflation pushing them up even further.
This has led to questions from some quarters about the money being committed to the project, with donations from other community councils contributing towards the fundraising, during a ‘cost of living’ crisis.
But Cllr Rogers says the project began long before the crises of the last few years and that it is important to see civic projects through.
“At the end of the day, the Royal Welch have been associated with the borough of Wrexham for in excess of 350 years”, Cllr Rogers said.
“This is a project that I started in 2017, long before Covid, long before the cost-of-living crisis.
“It’s an important part of Wrexham history, you would end up never doing anything if you stopped in the middle of it, you’ve got to see it through.”
Cllr Rogers has received an early Christmas present thanks to landscape company Sherratt who through managing director Craig Stockton, have offered to undertake thousands of pounds worth of landscaping work free of charge to help push the project forward.
Cllr Rogers added: “Craig and his company are going to supply everything free of charge, which is worth roundabout £4,000.
“We’re hoping they will work with us beyond on maintenance.
“We’ve been told the original quote for the lighting was too much, and we’ve reduced the number of bollards from 11 to six.
“The statue is being delivered in February, and hopefully we’ll have the regimental band for the unveiling.”
Explaining why he got involved in the project, Mr Stockton said: “I’m a Wrexham lad, born in Wrexham and it’s the right thing to do.
“We’ve got a social responsibility as a company and we know other people who have helped out with Cllr Rogers, so it we thought, we’ve got roots here – let’s put something back into the community.
“We’re going to put all the landscaping in, turfed areas, shrubs, the decorative front.”
The statue will stand at one of the main gateways into Wrexham and will be there for generations to come, and the sculptor commissioned to work on the project is Llandudno based Nick Elphick.
Any companies, businesses or members of the public who wish to contribute donations to complete the project can contact the clerk of Offa Community Council, Karen Benfield on 01978 291562 or by email: [email protected].
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