Two critically important plots of land have been acquired by the Welsh Government as part of preparatory steps for the Wrexham Gateway development, demonstrating the commitment to this project, Minister for North Wales Ken Skates has said.
The Wrexham Gateway Partnership between Wrexham County Borough Council, Wrexham Glyndŵr University, Wrexham AFC and Welsh Government is continuing to develop its plans for the regeneration of the Mold Road area of the town.
Two key strands of the proposals are the creation of a regionally significant sporting and events stadium at the Racecourse Ground and the integration of the public transport network, with improved links between bus and rail services.
The plots acquired are the former garage showroom on the junction of Crispin Lane and Mold Road – including the land immediately behind the Kop Stand at the Racecourse. This land is expected to accommodate in part, a newly developed stand at the football ground.
The second plot is the former Countrywide Stores building, opposite the entrance to Wrexham General Station. It is intended to be developed primarily to improve the interface between bus and rail transport, and other developments.
On behalf of the Wrexham AFC Board, Spencer Harris commented: “This is a critical step on the journey to a redeveloped Kop Stand.
“The purchase of the land immediately behind the Kop demonstrates the ongoing commitment and ambition of Welsh Government which matches that of the other Gateway partners.
“Whilst these things take time, this announcement will signal to the people of North Wales that a premier sporting facility for the region will again be on their doorsteps as part of the wider regeneration of the area.”
Minister for North Wales Ken Skates said: “I am delighted we have taken crucial preparatory steps for the Mold Road Gateway development by acquiring two plots of land which are essential to deliver the ambitions of the partnership.
“It shows our commitment to drive the redevelopment of this part of Mold Road forward. We are demonstrating our determination to maintain momentum, even through the Coronavirus crisis, by securing these two essential sites.
“We are also making a solid statement of intent – that the Welsh Government is firmly behind the Partnership’s ambitions and is intent on delivering real and aspirational change on this site.”
Councillor Mark Pritchard, Leader of Wrexham Council, said: “Although it’s early days, the acquisition of this land is a hugely important step.
“It shows the partnership is serious about the project, and about transforming the fortunes of Wrexham town centre into something really special – benefitting the whole community, making the railway station more accessible and ensuring that the Racecourse Stadium is the focal point for events which the whole of North Wales can enjoy.
“I want to thank our partners – including Ken Skates and the Welsh Government, Professor Maria Hinfelaar and Glyndwr University, and Spencer Harris and the board at Wrexham Football Club – for working tirelessly alongside us to achieve this important step forward.
“Wrexham and the rest of Wales is facing huge challenges at the moment because of Covid-19, so it’s more important than ever to keep moving forward with aspirational projects like this.”
Welcoming the Minister’s statement, Professor Maria Hinfelaar, Vice-Chancellor of Wrexham Glyndŵr University said: “It is wonderful to see the ambitious vision for the new Gateway into Wrexham gradually becoming a reality, with practical steps being taken and government investment being committed.
“At the university, staff and students will embrace this opportunity and we look forward to working with partners to deliver the plans.”