University submits raft of planning applications ahead of rebrand
Rory Sheehan, local democracy reporter
Wrexham’s university has submitted a raft of planning applications for permission to change its signage to reflect dropping Glyndwr from its name as part of a rebrand.
After consultation with staff, students and stakeholders the university is dropping the name and will be simply known as Wrexham University / Prifysgol Wrecsam.
Formerly known as the North East Wales Institute for Higher Education (NEWI), Wrexham Glyndwr was granted university status in 2008 and became Glyndwr University, before adding Wrexham to the front of its name in 2016.
When NEWI became a university, the Glyndwr part of the name was chosen as a tribute to Owain Glyndwr, the medieval Welsh prince who led a rebellion against the English crown.
Last year when the name change was mooted a university spokesman said: “Renaming the university to ‘Prifysgol Wrecsam/Wrexham University’ would help streamline marketing and strengthen our brand and identity.
“The university is proud to be located in Wrexham – a place which is developing, recently acquired city status, came runner-up in the UK City of Culture 2025 bid and has ambitious investment and regeneration schemes which we are part of.
“The straightforward coupling of place + university is the most effective way to reach audiences and is replicated across the higher education sector in the UK.”
The university is also currently undergoing a major multi-million-pound revamp of its campuses, titled Campus 2025.
Along with Wrexham Council, Transport for Wales, the Welsh Government and Wrexham AFC, it is also a key partner in the Wrexham Gateway Project, a major civic plan to redevelop the Mold Road area of the city.
A series of applications have been lodged with Wrexham Council related to the removal of current signs to replace them with the new designs, and listed building consent to carry out some of the proposed work.
The planning applications cover the university’s Mold Road campus, the College of Art at Regent Street and the John Beal Block of the student village on Crispin Lane.
A heritage impact assessment submitted for the proposed changes at the Mold Road campus by planning consultants Cassidy + Ashton states: “The proposed updated signs simply seek to replace existing signage on the elevation.
“The proposed is located in place of the redundant Glyndwr University sign. Whilst not an identical replacement, the replacement signage principally relates to the name change and therefore aligns with the form, nature and scale of the existing.
“On the basis of the above the integrity of the listed building will not be harmed, replacing an existing feature which aligns with a name change whilst maintaining the overall character, appearance and modular character.”
A heritage impact assessment covering the Regent Street campus gives details about the Grade II listed site, a former infirmary, and states that the character and integrity of the building will not be harmed as a result of the changes.
It became Denbighshire Technical College in 1927 and later the current Regent School of Creative Arts.
A number of new ‘welcome’ signs are also planned for the university entrance at the main campus on Mold Road.
Wrexham Council planners will make a decision on the applications at a future date.
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