Plans for a major new heritage project and visitor attraction for Brymbo, near Wrexham, have been safeguarded following a recent agreement between the site owner, Brymbo Developments Ltd (BDL) and local community regeneration charity, Brymbo Heritage Trust (BHT).
The two parties have signed Heads of Terms agreeing a 25-year lease over a 65-acre site. BHT will operate the site and deliver restoration works and projects which will preserve and celebrate Brymbo’s industrial past, conserve a 300-million-year-old fossil forest and provide an area for community events, activities, and all-age learning.
This agreement is a significant step in facilitating £10m of direct investment into community-led heritage in Brymbo, the majority of which is awarded by the UK’s two largest National Lottery distributors, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund, alongside a comprehensive co-funding package from various government agencies, local government, and national charitable trusts
The former steelworks site and 440 acres of surrounding land was acquired by BDL in 1994, following its closure in 1990 and has since formed part of a viable and sustainable proposal to deliver vital new community infrastructure – unlocking land, connecting the villages of Tanyfron and Brymbo and creating a true village centre that has been lacking.
The heritage project forms part of Brymbo Park, a wider regeneration of the former British Steelworks site at Brymbo. In addition to the proposed 450 new homes, which are vital to meeting Wrexham Council’s housing targets, Brymbo Park will also deliver a new local 425 place primary school, a new foodstore with ancillary retail, medical centre, village pub/restaurant, children’s play areas, public footpaths, landscaping, and public open space.
Ian Bancroft, Chief Executive of Wrexham Council said, “It is great to see the coming together of partners to make this project a reality. As a Council we have worked hard to ensure the foundations have been laid for a successful and sustainable future and local councillors and the community council have been key to achieving this”.
Nick Amyes, Chair of BHT’s Board of Trustees said “This is fantastic news for everyone in Brymbo, giving us the commitment that will allow our community’s story to be told proudly for generations to come. We’d like to extend our thanks to everyone involved in arriving at this milestone, and look forward to welcoming residents, volunteers, learners, performers and visitors to our enjoy our wonderful heritage”.
Dawn Bowden, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, said; “I congratulate everyone involved in the Brymbo Heritage Project for reaching this important milestone. I am delighted that the parties involved have been able to establish an agreement that will enable this important heritage project to progress. This will breathe new life into the industrial heritage of Brymbo and bring considerable benefits for the local community. I know that everyone has worked tirelessly to reach this agreement”.
James Cannon, Head of Property for BDL said: “It has always been the intention of the Cornes Family and BDL to ensure that the some of the land for the former Brymbo Steel Works would be gifted to the community to preserve the site’s heritage and to ensure that there is access for the local community. The Heads of Terms agreed with BHT allow for both those aims and we look forward to working with BHT to deliver this lease.
“We all look forward to continuing to work with other key stakeholders including the Welsh Government and Wrexham Council to deliver the final pieces of this vital development, including a new primary school and medical centre.”
Stantec (formerly Barton Willmore) is advising BDL on the planning, while Knight Frank has been appointed as agents on the entire scheme. Grice Collins Long are acting as leasing agents on the supermarket, retail, and pub.