A WREXHAM heritage project has secured almost £2 million in lottery funding.
Brymbo Heritage Group was awarded a grant of £1,996,483 under the Big Lottery Fund’s Create Your Space programme, which will enable the group to improve physical spaces in Brymbo, Bryn Cefn and Gwenfro.
With the funding, the group aims to achieve a number of objectives including to turn Lodge Valley Park into a more community friendly park, make the ‘Sunken Bridge’ a safe, accessible focal point, create a viewing area across Brymbo pool, strengthen biodiversity studies of the site and initiate education links with schools.
Another aim of the project is to reinvigorate a largely disused piece of land by creating a multi use site including a community garden, allotments and activity area as well as establishing a community solar farm on the former Blast Colliery’s spoil heap.
Gary Brown, heritage officer for Brymbo Heritage Group, said: “We’re delighted with today’s news, a real show of support for the plans we have to re-connect people with the spaces that made our community.
“Our ‘can do’ attitude has struck a chord with the Big Lottery – it’s up to us to all work together now to deliver the best we can. We’ll be giving a talk about it as part of our open day on Saturday, April 8 from 10am to 4pm on site at the old works.
“We’re also working on a £7.5m scheme to restore the iron and steelworks buildings and cover the fossil forest to allow for its excavation, with results due later this year.”
Brymbo ward councillor Paul Rogers said: “I would like to congratulate Brymbo Heritage Group on their success securing this funding to develop and improve open spaces around
“Having worked with the group on some of these ideas I know this funding will help to regenerate these former industrial areas.
“I look forward to seeing these ideas develop and look forward to further consultation with residents as the ideas progress.”
Brian Stapley, who has been a member of the group for more than 20 years, said: “It is a massive boost for the group, we can move forward with what we have been trying to do for the last 20 years.
“We have had some pots of funding before but this is the biggest one we have ever had. It is fantastic news for the group and for the area.”
Clwyd South AM Ken Skates, a long-term Brymbo Heritage Group supporter, welcomed the announcement as ‘transformational’.
He said: “This is fantastic news for the volunteers and richly deserved after years and years of hard work – I’m thrilled for them.
He added: “I’m proud that the Welsh Government has continued to support BHG financially over the past few years and I will continue to help the team on a personal level however I can.”
Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones MP, whose father worked at Brymbo Steelworks, recently highlighted the group’s work in the House of Commons.