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Work to transform historic steelworks into major visitor attraction still some way off

14 Jun 2024 2 minute read
An application was submitted in September last year to transform a historic building at Brymbo steelworks. Source: Planning document

Liam Randall, local democracy reporter

Work to transform a former steelworks into a major visitor attraction could still be some way off, according to the charity behind the scheme.

It comes despite two planning applications relating to Wrexham’s Brymbo steelworks site being approved earlier this week.

A key part of the development to rejuvenate the 1920s machine shop building by turning it into an exhibition space, shop and cafe has been approved by Wrexham Council.

Separate plans to refurbish and change the use of a former agent’s house and pattern shop to provide further visitor facilities were also backed.

Lottery funding

The Brymbo Heritage Trust, which is behind the proposals to celebrate the area’s industrial heritage, has now provided an update on the latest progress on the project.

The charity has secured millions of pounds worth of lottery funding to realise its ambitions of bringing the old ironworks and steelworks back to life after it was closed in 1990.

However, the trust’s chief executive said there were still a number of outstanding issues to address before work can move forward.

Nicola Eaton Sawford said there were several legal matters to be finalised before The National Lottery’s Heritage Fund can give permission to start.


She said: “The granting of the planning consents is fantastic news, however we are not there yet.

“There are still a number of things that need to happen before we can sign the remaining contracts and begin works on site.

“We and our partners, including Brymbo Developments Limited, Wrexham County Borough Council, Welsh Government, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The National Lottery Community Fund, Cadw and Natural Resources Wales are working hard to conclude those elements.”

One of the main attractions included in the wider regeneration plans is a fossil forest, which is believed to date back 300 million years.

The fossilised trees were discovered at the site in 2003 during opencast mining and have been awarded special protection due to their national significance.

The trust is holding an open day at the heritage site later this month, which members of the public are being invited to attend.

A free tour will take place on Saturday, June 29 from 11am to 4pm, with tickets available here.

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