Plans approved for new Football Museum for Wales
Rory Sheehan, local democracy reporter
The development of a Football Museum for Wales and new Wrexham Museum has moved a step closer.
Wrexham Council’s planning application to add a two-storey extension to the current museum’s central courtyard, and a two-storey extension to the former exercise yard has been approved by the authority’s planning department.
The Grade-II listed Regent Street building where the Wrexham Council run museum has been housed since 1996 is in the Grosvenor Road conservation area, and is considered to be of high historical significance.
It was a militia barracks on the 1850’s, before becoming a police station and magistrates court into the 1970’s, and its listed status and historical significance means building consent to carry out the work is required from Cadw.
There are also conditions that plans for landscaping and traffic management are submitted, which also need to be adhered too before work can start.
The Museum of Two Halves
But the project, which has received more than £5m of Welsh Government funding and been dubbed a ‘Museum of Two Halves’, has taken a step forward with outline permission for this aspect of it.
A design and access statement submitted with the application was put together by Purcell, the architects, heritage consultants and masterplanners, on behalf of the council.
It outlines how a double-height atrium with a lift and stairwell in the centre of the building will ensure improved access for visitors, with the former exercise yard to be converted into additional gallery space.
The design and access statement says: “The walls and roofs of the two new extensions are to be finished in standing seam zinc cladding. The proposals seek to distinguish these interventions from the existing historic building.
“Essentially the use of the building remains unchanged. However, the proposals involve the delivery of two museum offers on one site: the new Wrexham Museum and the Football Museum for Wales.”
The design and access statements adds: “The proposals will enhance the visitor offer and community benefit of the building and will include the creation of two new suites of galleries. As such the new museum will attract new audiences and ensure the continued viability of this landmark building.
“By creating a new two-storey circulation hub in the original central courtyard area and providing a new lift and ramped first floor landings to address all the first floor levels, inclusive access is provided to both the proposed Football Museum galleries and the Wrexham Museum galleries.
“Further to this, the staff and back of house areas also become accessible.”
Permission was signed off by the council’s chief officer for economy and planning David Fitzsimon in a delegated decision.
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