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Wrexham Acton
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  About your Area
 

Evidence of human activity in the Wrexham area have been found as far back as 8000 years ago. However the first known settlement was known as "al-ham" Castle, which was a motte and bailey located in what is now known as Erddig Park, in 1161. The town became part of the county of Denbighshire when it was created in 1536. Wrexham was divided into two distinct townships, Wrexham Regis (which was under the control of the King) and Wrexham Abbot (generally the older parts of the town, which originally belonged to Valle Crucis Abbey at nearby Llangollen).

The King's Mill
The King's Mill

In the 18th century Wrexham was known for its leather industry. There were skinners and tanners in the town. The horns from cattle were used to make things like combs and buttons. There was also a nail making industry in Wrexham.

In the mid-18th century Wrexham was no more than a small market town with a population of perhaps 2,000. However in the late 18th century Wrexham grew rapidly as it became one of the pioneers of the industrial revolution.

Bersham Ironworks as it stands today
Bersham Ironworks as it stands today

In the late 18th century Wrexham was transformed by the coming of the industrial revolution. It began when the famous entrepreneur John Wilkinson (1728-1808) known as 'Iron Mad Wilkinson' opened Bersham Ironworks in 1762. In 1793 he opened a smelting plant at Brymbo.

Wrexham gained its first newspaper in 1848. The Market Hall was built in 1848, and in 1863 a volunteer fire brigade was founded.

It was home to a large number of breweries and tanning became one of Wrexham's main industries, due to its history as a market town. In the mid 19th century Wrexham was granted borough status.

[edit] Modern history

Hope Street, Wrexham town centre
Hope Street, Wrexham town centre

In the latter half of the twentieth century, Wrexham began a period of depression: the many coal mines closed first, followed by the brickworks and other industries, and finally Brymbo Steelworks in September 1990. Wrexham faced an economic crisis. Many residents were anxious to sell their homes and move to areas with better employment prospects, however buyers were uninterested in an area where there was little prospect of employment. Many people were caught in a negative equity trap. Wrexham was suffering from the same problems as much of industrialised Britain and saw little investment in the 1970s.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) intervened to improve Wrexham's situation: it funded a major dual carriageway, the A483, bypassing Wrexham town centre and connecting it with Chester and Shrewsbury, which in turn had connections with other big cities such as Manchester and Liverpool. It also funded shops and reclaimed areas environmentally damaged by the coal industry. The town centre was regenerated and attracted a growing number of high street chains. However, the biggest breakthrough was the Wrexham Industrial Estate, previously used in the Second World War became home to many manufacturing and technology businesses. There are currently over 250 businesses on the Wrexham Industrial Estate and in the surrounding area. A dual carriageway from the main A483 was extended halfway to the Estate in 2003, and is expected to reach it by 2011.

In June 2003, the Caia Park estate in Wrexham was hit by the Caia Park Riots. Tension between Iraqi Kurds and locals centred on one of the estates' pubs escalated and resulted in petrol bombs and other missiles being hurled at police trying to restore order. 51 local residents received prison sentences. There has been no repeat of the events of 2003.

Wrexham as a whole has since seen a vast influx (10-15,000) of Polish and Portuguese migrant workers. There are two Polish shops in Wrexham Town Centre and a Portuguese cafe in Hightown

[edit] Regeneration

Recent years have seen a large amount of redevelopment in Wrexham's town centre. The creation and re-development of civic and public areas such as Queens Square, Belle Vue Park and Llwyn Isaf have improved the area dramatically. New shopping areas have been created at Henblas Square and Island Green and major development is currently taking place at Eagles Meadow — a fairly large area of land between St. Giles and the inner ring road. The development when completed will increase Wrexham's retail area by over 400,000 sq ft (40,000 m²) and house a large range of high quality retail outlets, bars, restaurants, cinema, bowling alley and new apartments. It will include public areas and an iconic bridge to connect the development with the old High Street. The housing boom is also being felt in Wrexham.

The central area has seen a number conversions and new build apartment complexes. Apartments have been built on a large area off Mold Road (close to the football ground) and are planned for Salop Road (close to Eagles Meadow), and close to the Island Green shopping complex. Outside of the town centre new build estates are being developed in Brymbo (former steelworks site).

Wrexham Western Gateway site (Ruthin Road) and Mold Road. Plans are due to be unveiled (Summer 2007) of the next stage in the development of Wrexham Technology Park as one of the country's first sustainable business centres - the development is expected to increase the size of the Park by more than a third before 2012.

Plans have been unveiled for a £17m waste processing centre for Wrexham which will help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill sites. It is believed the centre will be built on Wrexham's industrial estate and run by the Spanish-owned Waste Recycling Group. Plans for a recycling centre in Wrexham have been approved, but the permission granted to Waste Recycling Group is subject to several conditions including measures to off-set the effects on wildlife.

Wrexham is undergoing a substantial period of population growth. House prices have risen to some of the highest levels in Wales as demand has risen both locally, from over the English border and from international migrants.

An estimated 15,000 eastern Europeans have settled in Wrexham since 2004, mainly around the central areas of the town around Hightown, Smithfield and Queens Park. The demand from housing has led to the development of whole new neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the town. These include over 500 homes at the former Brymbo Steelworks site, a ribbon of development on Mold Road leading out of the town (which includes four development companies) and Ruthin Road (Wrexham Western Gateway). There are yet further plans, one of which is the controversial development of National Trust land at Erddig for over 250 homes. The town centre has also experienced large-scale apartment developments which continue to be developed.

In the third quarter of 2007, house prices were still rising by 6.4% (9.9% annually) with the average price at £178,518. Sales were around 220 for this period and projected as 880 for the year. The average house price is 8% higher than both Newport and Swansea, and 6% less than Cardiff[3].

[edit] Governance

Wrexham County Borough Council elects a mayor who serves for one year. The current mayor of Wrexham is Councillor Joan Lowe. She is the ninth female mayor of Wrexham. Wrexham Council's website, is one of the leading council websites in the country. People who live under the jurisdiction of Wrexham County Borough Council are able to pay taxes, debts and other fees through the website. They can also access many other services, such as reporting crimes, submitting planning applications and applying for permits.

The Wrexham constituency elects members to the UK Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales. The constituency includes both the town and some of its outlying villages such as Gwersyllt, Llay, Marford and Rossett.

The UK Parliament constituency of Wrexham has long been a safe seat for the Labour Party. The current Member of Parliament is Ian Lucas, and the Assembly Member for the National Assembly for Wales constituency of Wrexham is Lesley Griffiths.

[edit] City status

Wrexham is the largest settlement in north Wales, and has applied for city status several times, most recently in 2002, as part of the celebrations for the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II. Other Welsh applicants were Aberystwyth, Machynlleth, Newtown, Newport, and St Asaph. The local authority cited the following claims as to why Wrexham should be granted city status:

  • The town is the largest urban area north, it is home to one of only three Roman Catholic cathedrals in Wales
  • It is the centre for education, culture, retail, industry and business in North Wales
  • It has the largest catchment (in terms of area) of any other major Welsh settlement
  • The town has a long and proud history of industry, including coal mining, steelmaking, brewing and tanning.
  • It has recently transformed from a historic market town and industrial hub into a forward thinking business and manufacturing centre (including one of the largest industrial estates in Europe)
  • The population of the conurbation surrounding the town is over 100,000 people

In the end, the Welsh award was given to Newport in South Wales, however the borough still holds out hope of gaining the status in the near future.

Wrexham is a regional centre for the whole of North and Mid Wales and recent studies suggets inreasing support for the idea as Wrexham goes through a period of growth. A recent survey[4] carried out by local newspaper, the Wrexham Evening Leader, in October 2007 showed that 76 percent polled supported the idea of Wrexham becoming a city. Just 22.5 percent said it should remain a town, while 1.5 percent were undecided.

[edit] Geography

Unusally for a large town, Wrexham is not built up alongside a major river. Instead it is situated on a relatively flat plateau between the lower Dee Valley and eastern most mountains of Wales. This situation enabled it to grow as a market town as a cross roads between England and Wales and later as an industrial hub - due to its rich natural reserves of iron ore and coal. It does however have three relatively minor rivers running through parts of the town. These are the rivers Clywedog, Gwenfro and Alyn. Wrexham is also famed for the quality of its underground water reserves, which gave rise to its previous dominance as a major brewing centre.

Originally a market town with surrounding small villages, Wrexham is now coalesced with a number of urban villages and forms North Wales' largest conurbation of around 100,000 people. The Office for National Statistics defines a Wrexham Urban Area which consists of Wrexham Town and some coalesced suburbs (Pop. 63,084 in 2001).

Wrexham's Urban Area (pink) and surrounding villages (circles)
Wrexham's Urban Area (pink) and surrounding villages (circles)

[edit] Wrexham urban area

[edit] Demographics

In April 2008, the IPPR identified Wrexham with the largest influx of Eastern European economic migrants in Wales. Between 2004 and 2007 a total of 3430 people from these countries had registered for work in Wrexham.

[edit] Economy

Wrexham's economy has been transformed in the past twenty years, from one dominated by heavy and traditional industry into a major high tech manufacturing, technology and services hub. Wrexham Industrial Estate to the east of the town is the UK's second-largest industrial park, and among the largest in Europe. The remainder of the industrial parks are located around the A483 corridor to the west of the town. Companies such as Sharp, Brother, Tetra-Pak, J. C. Bamford, Cadbury and Kelloggs have major manufacturing, research or office bases in and around the town. International pharmaceutical and chemical companies are also well represented including Flexsys and Wockhardt. Service and smaller high technology set-ups are generally found closer to the centre at Wrexham Technology Park and within the town centre itself.

Wrexham has done well to hold on to a substantial manufacturing base, after facing stiff competition from growing eastern European and Asian economies. Around 25% of jobs in Wrexham are in the manufacturing sector, with a growing number in service, financial and technology industries.

In 2007 the town was ranked 5th in the UK for business start-up success, higher than most larger UK towns and cities[5]. Wrexham county borough as a whole has an economic activity rate of 79.5%, which is above both the Wales and Great Britain averages.

In November 2006 unemployment in Wrexham stood at 1.9%. This is below the averages for Wales at 2.3% and the UK at 2.5%.

Wrexham's dominant manufacturing sector and low rate of unemployment has attracted many migrant workers from eastern Europe, mainly Poland. It is estimated around 10-15,000 Poles have migrated to the town over the past five years.

In the last five years high land prices have led to large apartment blocks being built in and around the town. Scarcity of town centre land has led to numerous housing estates being built in the surrounding villages on the outskirts, notably in Brymbo, Gwersyllt and Rhostyllen.

[edit] Shopping

The main shopping streets in Wrexham are: Abbot Street, Bank Street, Henblas Street, Hight Street, King Street, Regent Street, Overton Arcade, Hope Street and Queen Street.

A cluster of retail parks are situated around the inner ring road at the Central and Border retail parks. Plas Coch and Berse retail parks are situated on the outskirts close to the A483. Central and Island Green retail parks are situated in the town centre close to Wrexham Central railway station.

The Eagles Meadow Development taken from Temple Row
The Eagles Meadow Development taken from Temple Row

In 1999, almost at a stroke, Wrexham town centre added over 250,000 square feet (23,000 m²) of retail shopping space when the Henblas Square and Island Green developments were completed. In 2008 a 400,000 square feet (40,000 m²) development will be completed at Eagles Meadow. This will increase Wrexham's shopping catchment to half a million shoppers. Stores committed to the development include Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, H&M, Next, River Island, TenPin and Odeon. The new development will be connected to Yorke Street / High Street by an iconic bridge.

Traditional markets - there are three covered markets (Butter, Butchers and Peoples Markets) plus North Wales' largest open air market based in the town centre each Monday (including Bank Holidays).

Wrexham boasts the most used Shopmobility Service in North Wales, which is free. Much of the Wrexham Town Centre is pedestrianised.

There are short stay car parks adjacent to the town centre. Long-stay parking is available at St. Marks (NCP) at the northern end of Regent Street or the larger surface park (WCBC)

[edit] Culture

The Arc sculpture
The Arc sculpture

[edit] Arts

Wrexham hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1888, 1912, 1933 and 1977, as well as an unofficial National Eisteddfod event in 1876. Wrexham has a number of theatres, including the Grove Park Theatre on Vicarage Hill, the Riverside Studio Theatre at Wrexham Musical Theatre Society on Salop Road and the Yale Studio theatre close to Llwyn Isaf. Local theatre group,Tip Top Productions [1] also present the annual Christmas Pantomime at The Stiwt Theatre in nearby Rhosllanerchrugog. The main Arts centre is at Wrexham County Library, with others at NEWI in Plas Coch and Yale College. There is a multi-screen Odeon cinema in the Plas Coch retail park just outside the town centre, with another planned at the new Eagles Meadow development — due to open 2008. The nearby town of Llangollen holds the International Musical Eisteddfod every July.

[edit] Science

Every March the town hosts the Wrexham Science Festival. Over 9000 visitors attended events in 2007, making the event one of the biggest of its kind.

Wrexham is also home to a branch of Techniquest, known as Techniquest@newi. The science discovery centre is situated within NEWI's Plas Coch campus.

[edit] Music

Wrexham has built a vibrant music scene over the last few years. In 2007 it featured on BBC Radio One's Steve Lamacq show, and regularly features on the Welsh music portion of the station. The main live music venue in Wrexham is Central Station, a club with a capacity of approximately 650, attracting touring bands from across the country. Since its opening in 2000 the venue has played host to hundreds of acts, including The Charlatans, the Scratch Perverts, Ash, The View, The Wildhearts, Mansun, Shed Seven, The Wonder Stuff, The Damned, Skindred, Supersuckers, Moscow, Bloc Party, Hundred Reasons, Grandmaster Flash, Electric Six, Trashlight Vision, The Fall, Budgie, The Blackout, Kids in Glass Houses, Rooster, Blaze Bayley, The Kooks, Duffy, The Magic Numbers and Robert Plant.[6]

Another live music venue in Wrexham is the William Aston Hall at NEWI. It hosts concerts and live entertainment. This 900-seat venue has recently undergone extensive refurbishment, and is now designed to accommodate a range of events from conferences and exhibitions to theatrical performances and pop/rock concerts. Acts who have performed there in the past include Super Furry Animals, Love, Ray Davies, Funeral for a Friend, Freddie Starr and Sweet.[7]. Other music venues in the town include the Old Swan on Abbot Street, and the Goulbourne in Borras.

[edit] Media

Wrexham's daily newspapers include the North Wales Daily Post and Wrexham Evening Leader, the weekly free Wrexham Mail, and the weekly broadsheet Wrexham Leader, often known as the "Big Leader". Two radio stations serve the town; the FM licence is Marcher Sound and the local medium wave station is Classic Gold Marcher, both based in shared studios on Mold Road. These studios are also home to a number of other regional radio stations broadcasting to the North Wales coast and the Wirral. A 'Media' quarter has developed within the towns' Civic Centre where television stations BBC Wales, ITV Wales and S4C have studios or bureaux for their regional news services.

In addition, Wrexham also has a community radio station called "Calon FM" based in the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education (NEWI), Calon FM launched on 1st March 2008 and broadcasts on 105 FM.

[edit] Green space

Wales in Bloom 2007 - City Merit Award

Wrexham has two main town parks, these being Bellevue Park and Acton Park, and open parkland at Erddig. With the rapid development of the town in the 19th century, the need for a formal park for the growing population was identified. However it was not until 1906 that the location for the new park was agreed upon. The 'Parciau' or Bellevue Park as it became known, was build alongside the old cemetery on Ruabon Road. The park was designed to commemorate the Jubilee year of the Incorporation of Wrexham.

[edit] Parks

Bellevue Park - Green Flag Award

Belle Vue Park - During the 1970s Bellevue Park was neglected and many of the amenities were in a poor state of repair. A major project was undertaken to refurbish the Park back to its original splendour. This was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Urban Parks Project, Welsh Development Agency, and the European Regional Development Fund. The park reopened in June 2000. It now boasts children's play areas, a bowling green which is home to the Parciau Bowling Club, tennis and basketball courts, an original Edwardian bandstand set in an amphitheatre, and a jogging route for walkers and joggers. The park itself has many walkways through mature tree-lined avenues as well as affording some magnificent views of the Parish Church. The park is well lit and has a number of CCTV cameras installed to deter antisocial behaviour.

Bellevue Park has once again regained its popularity with the people of Wrexham. Throughout the summer months a broad spectrum of social events take place, such as music concerts for all tastes and 'Fun days' for children.

The lake at Acton Park
The lake at Acton Park

Acton Park was originally the landscaped grounds of Acton Hall. It was originally laid out in 1785 by James Wyatt on the instructions of the owner Sir Foster Cunliffe. Over the years the Estate passed through several owners. In 1947 Wrexham Council was given the Hall and Park by the then owner Alderman William Aston. A section of Acton Park was sold for Housing development in the 1970s. The surviving area now covers approximately 55 acres.

Acton Park features a bowling green, tennis courts, a children's play area, Japanese-style garden and a large lake which has attracted diverse wildlife. The general layout of the park has remained unchanged since it was laid out in the 18th century and now boasts many mature trees.

Llwyn Isaf, which is situated alongside Wrexham Guildhall is a popular green area within the town centre. The green was originally the landscaped grounds of a mansion house known as Llwyn Isaf. It now lies at the centre of Wrexham's civic centre just off Queens Square. The Welsh Children in Need concert was held at this location in 2005.

[edit] Open parkland

The 'Cup and Saucer' at Erddig Park
The 'Cup and Saucer' at Erddig Park

Erddig Park is situated two miles (3 km) south of the town centre where the town meets the Clywedog Valley. The Park is owned and managed by the National Trust, and is home to Erddig Hall and its formal gardens. The Park is also home to a number of notable historic features. These include a hydraulic ram known as the 'Cup and Saucer' which is used to pump water from the park to Erddig Hall, and the remains of Wristleham motte and bailey which is thought to be the beginnings of Wrexham as a town in the 12th century.

[edit] Heritage

Wrexham's former police station on Regent Street, originally the barracks for the Royal Denbighshire Militia, is now home to Wrexham County Borough Museum. The Museum has two galleries devoted to the history of the town and its surrounding communities. There is also a programme of temporary exhibitions, including an exhibition featuring the Mold Cape, the first time the Bronze Age treasure had returned to North Wales from the British Museum since its discovery in 1833. Just to the west of the town, Bersham Heritage Centre and Ironworks tell the story of John Wilkinson, the 'Iron Mad' pioneer of the Industrial Revolution. At the top end of the Clywedog Valley, about ten minutes' drive from Wrexham, Minera Lead Mines are the remains of the profitable lead industry that dates back to prehistoric times.

To the east of Wrexham, there are the remains of Holt Castle. The castle and the nearby late medieval bridge were the scene of constant skirmishes during the Civil War in the 17th century. The River Dee in this area is deep and wide. The bridge at Holt was the first crossing point south of the city of Chester and hence was of major strategic importance.

Just 2 miles (3 km) south of Wrexham town centre, Erddig, the National Trust property, was home to the Yorke family until 1973. Its last resident, Philip Yorke, handed over a house in need of restoration as years of subsidence caused by the workings of Bersham Colliery had caused a lot of damage. The house was voted one of the two most popular stately homes in the UK by a National Trust/Channel 5 publication. However, the house was not popular with Bersham miners as it stood on a pillar of coal and they had to work round it.

One thing Wrexham has always been famous for is beer. In the mid to late 19th century Wrexham had over 35 breweries, and grew a proud tradition of brewing both ale and lager. In 1882 German immigrants set up Britain's first Lager brewery under the name of Wrexham Lager. In 2000 the Wrexham Lager Brewery was the last one to close. A number of the original brewery buildings remain. Most notably Wrexham Lager on Central Road (offices), Soames Brewery on Yorke Street (Nags Head) and Border Brewery on Tuttle Street (converted apartments).

Wrexham's mining heritage is nearly all gone. Most former mines have been converted into industrial and business parks - one such development at Bersham Colliery has the last surviving headgear in the North Wales coalfield. Just off the A483, on the edge of Wrexham, the Gresford Disaster Memorial stands witness to the 261 miners, two rescuemen and one surface worker killed by a series of explosions in the Gresford Colliery in 1934.

[edit] Religion

[edit] St. Giles Church

St Giles, considered the greatest example of Gothic architecture in Wales
St Giles, considered the greatest example of Gothic architecture in Wales

St Giles' Church, Wrexham is the Parish Church of Wrexham and considered the greatest medieval church in Wales[8]. It includes a colourful ceiling of flying musical angels, two early eagle lecterns, a window by the artist Edward Burne-Jones and the Royal Welch Fusiliers chapel. In the graveyard is the tomb of Elihu Yale who was the benefactor of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, United States and after whom Yale College Wrexham is named. As a tribute to Yale and his resting place, a scaled down replica of the church tower, known as 'Wrexham Tower' was constructed at Yale University. The tower appears in an 18th century rhyme, as one of the Seven Wonders of Wales.

[edit] St. Mary's Cathedral

Saint Richard Gwyn, Wrexham's Catholic patron saint
Saint Richard Gwyn, Wrexham's Catholic patron saint

The Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Sorrows (St. Mary's), in Regent Street, is the main Church of the Diocese of Wrexham, which extends over all of North Wales. Built in 1857 at the height of the Gothic Revival, the Cathedral was home to the Bishop of Menevia from 1898 until 1987, whose diocese covered all of Wales. However in 1987 the Catholic province of Wales was reconstructed, since which time the Cathedral has been home to the Bishop of Wrexham (now 2nd Bishop of Wrexham). The cathedral is also home to the relic of Saint Richard Gwyn, Wrexham's patron saint. He was a Catholic martyr in the 16th century and was hung drawn and quartered at Wrexham's Beast Market. He was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970.

[edit] Other

Wrexham also has a number of non-denominational chapels and churches scattered about the town, including a Corps of The Salvation Army. The main Methodist Church is Wrexham Methodist church, built in 1971 on the site of the former Brynyfynnon Chapel on Regent Street. Up until the 1970s the town was full of Welsh non-denominational chapels and the attendance of these was far in excess of that of the Anglican Church in the town.

In the past, Wrexham had a church with a spire much taller than the St Giles steeple. This church was dedicated and named after St Mark, but this was demolished as the building's foundations were in danger of collapse. A multi-storey car park named "St Marks" was erected on the site.

[edit] Sport

[edit] Football and rugby

For most of its history, Wrexham was the site of the headquarters of the Football Association of Wales.

The town has a professional football team, Wrexham F.C., which competes in the English Football League despite being based in Wales. Currently managed by Brian Little, the club has a rich 130 year history and is perhaps most notable for an FA Cup upset over Arsenal F.C. in 1992, together with a number of European Cup Winners Cup runs in the 1970s-80s and early 90s, playing teams such as FC Porto (whom they beat), Anderlecht, Manchester United and AS Roma. They enjoyed a succession of FA Cup runs knocking teams such as Arsenal, Birmingham City, Ipswich Town, Middlesbrough and West Ham out. They they lifted the Vans Trophy at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in front of 40,000 fans in May 2005, but had entered administration several months earlier and the 10-point penalty for this had caused their relegation to the basement division of the Football League. Despite the attempt to knock down the club's historic Racecourse Ground and replace it with a shopping development in 2005-06, the club's future is now assured, thanks to a consortium of local businessmen led by a local car dealer Neville Dickens and partner Geoff Moss. The town end of the ground is due for redevelopment in 2008, which will see a new stand and a number of high quality apartments built.

The ground has in the past also served as the secondary home of the Llanelli Scarlets, one of the four Welsh professional rugby union sides that compete in the Magners sponsored Celtic League. They would play, on average, two games per season there, though since the problems experienced by Wrexham FC during its period in administration, and uncertainty over the future of the ground, there were no Llanelli Scarlets games played there in season 2005–6 nor are any games scheduled for the 2006–7 Magners League season. The Welsh international rugby team also play here on occasion.

[edit] Other sports

  • Athletics: Queensway International Athletics stadium in Caia Park is Wrexham's second stadium after the Racecourse and has hosted the Welsh Open Athletics event in recent years. The stadium is also home to North Wales' largest athletics club, Wrexham Amateur Athletics Club.
  • Basketball: The recently formed NEWI Nets are North Wales' highest-ranked basketball team and currently compete in English Division 2. They play at NEWI's Plas Coch sports arena.
  • Hockey: Plas Coch is home to the North Wales Regional Hockey Stadium, a water-based international FIH accredited facility with seating for 200 spectators and floodlighting. The stadium is due to host the 2007 Celtic Cup in July this year.
  • Leisure: Wrexham has 7 leisure centres these are; Chirk, Clywedog, Darland, Gwyn Evans(Gwersyllt), Plas Madoc, Queensway, and Waterworld, they offer activities such as Swimming, aerobics, climbing walls through to Yoga.
  • Tennis: Wrexham is home to the North Wales Regional Tennis Centre, which plays host to a number of international competitions each year including the 'Challenger' Series. The centre is also home to the Wrexham Lawn Tennis Association.
  • Golf wrexham has 4 golf courses, Moss Valley Golf Club, Plassey Golf Club, Wrexham Golf Club and Clays Farm Golf Club

[edit] Landmarks

A number of tourist attractions can be found in the town or within a short drive from the centre. Among the most popular are:

[edit] Education

Wrexham is home to the newest University of Wales college, the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education (NEWI). This incorporates the North Wales School of Art and Design. NEWI is currently seeking full University status as the future University of Wales, Wrexham.[10]

Wrexham has a number of primary and secondary schools. It has just one Welsh-speaking secondary school, that being Ysgol Morgan Llwyd. Recently, three of the largest secondary schools, St David's School, Ysgol Bryn Offa and The Groves High School were merged to create two larger "super Schools", Rhosnesni High School and Ysgol Clywedog. Wrexham has also become home to the first shared-faith school in Wales in the form of St Joseph's. Yale College is the main post-16 education facility.

Primary

  • Acton Park Infant School
  • Acton Park Junior School
  • Alexandra CP School
  • Barker's Lane CP
  • Borras Park Infant School
  • Borras Park Junior School
  • Gwenfro Infant School
  • Gwenfro Junior School
  • Hafod y Wern Infant School
  • Hafod y Wern Juniors CP
  • Rhosddu CP
  • St Anne's Catholic Primary
  • St Giles Primary School
  • St Mary's Catholic Primary
  • Victoria Infant School
  • Victoria Junior School
  • Wat's Dyke CP
  • Ysgol Bodhyfryd CP
  • Ysgol Plas Coch CP

Secondary

  • Ysgol Bryn Alyn
  • St Christopher's
  • St Joseph's Catholic and Anglican High School
  • Rhosnesni High School
  • Ysgol Clywedog
  • Ysgol Morgan Llwyd

Maelor School Penley

[edit] Twinning

The town of Wrexham is twinned with the German district of Märkischer Kreis and the Polish town of Racibórz.

The first Twinning was established on 17 March 1970 between the former Kreis Iserlohn and Wrexham Rural District. Its early success ensured that, after local government reorganisation in both countries in the mid-seventies, the Twinning was taken over by the new Councils of Märkischer Kreis and Wrexham Maelor Borough Council and, in 1996, by Wrexham County Borough Council.

In 2001 Märkischer Kreis entered a Twinning arrangement with Racibórz (Ratibor), a county in Poland, which was formerly part of Silesia, Germany. In September 2002, a delegation from Racibórz visited Wrexham and began initial discussions about possible co-operation which led, eventually, to the signing of Articles of Twinning between Wrexham and Racibórz in March 2004. The Wrexham area has strong historical links with Poland. Following World War II, many service personnel from the Free Polish armed forces who had been injured received treatment at Penley Polish Hospital. Many of their descendants remain in the area to this day.

[edit] Transport

[edit] Rail

Wrexham General Station
Wrexham General Station

Wrexham has two railway stations. Wrexham General & Wrexham Central. Until the early 1980s what is now platform 4 of Wrexham General, serving the Wrexham Central - Bidston service, was a separate station, Wrexham Exchange.

Wrexham General

Wrexham General was opened in 1846 (rebuilt in 1912 and again in 1997) it has 6 platforms (4 through, 2 terminal) and provides direct rail services to Bangor, Birmingham, Cardiff, Chester, Holyhead, Liverpool, Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Banbury and London. The station is also the base for Wrexham and Shropshire, an open access operator who provide 5 daily servcies to London. All local services that operate from Wrexham Central also run through General.

Wrexham Central

Wrexham Central which is located on the Island Green retail park has 1 platform, but splits into 2 tracks on the outskirts of the town. It provides direct rail services Gwersyllt, Cefn-y-Bedd, Caergwrle, Hope, Penyffordd, Buckley, Hawarden, Shotton, Hawarden Bridge, Neston, Heswall, Upton (Wirral), Bidston (where there are connections to Liverpool and West Kirby). Until the 1998 construction of the Island Green retail park, Wrexham Central station was located 50 metres further along the track.

Plans are afoot to electrify the Borderlands line with runs through General and Central to Deeside and the Wirral. This would increase capacity and accelerate speeds on the line.

Local Stations

There are further three local stations in the Borough at Chirk, Ruabon and Gwersyllt, with plans to re-open at least another two over the next few years at Rossett and Johnstown. Plans also include a 'Park and Rail' service from one of these locations into Wrexham Central, to ease current traffic congestion and pressure on town centre car parks.

[edit] Bus and coach

Arriva Cymru operate the majority of bus services
Arriva Cymru operate the majority of bus services

A recent focus on road transport by the council has improved bus travel in the Wrexham area, with most buses being low-floor and slightly elevated bus stops to allow people easier access to buses. A new bus terminal, the largest in north Wales, has been built in Wrexham, featuring indoor shops and ambient music, along with a staffed information booth. The bus station serves local, regional and long-distance bus services. It is served by various bus companies, including Arriva Wales/Cymru, GHA, and Bryn Melyn. Long distance coaches are available to Edinburgh and London.

The "Wrexham shuttle" provides a link between Wrexham and the nearby industrial estate, there is a similar one in operation in the Deeside area.

Wrexham is served by the National Express coach network, it picks up from the Wrexham bus station.

Wrexham is one of the first areas in the United Kingdom to adopt the use of the distinctive yellow American Bluebird school buses. 10 currently operate in the Wrexham area, transporting pupils to and from the schools and colleges.

[edit] Roads

The town centre is orbited by a ring road. The northern and eastern parts of the road are dualled between Rhosddu Road roundabout and Eagles Meadow. The ring road and Mold Road/Regent Street are the main sources of congestion in the town. Park and Ride facilities have been introduced on a weekend basis, however future plans to extend the service are to be discussed.

The A483 is Wrexham's principal route. It skirts the western edge of the town, dividing it from the urban villages to the west. The road has connections with major roads (A55, M53, A5(M54)).

The A5156 leads to the A534 and on to the Wrexham Industrial Estate.

The A541 is the main route into Wrexham from Mold and the town's western urban area.

[edit] Future development

Wrexham has many major plans for the future. The WDA (Welsh Development Agency) (now disbanded), had earmarked Wrexham as a potential transport hub. The UK capital of culture for 2008, Liverpool, has also donated £100,000 to a study of electrification of the Wrexham to Bidston railway line, and a possible rail link to the North Wales coast line. This will open new rail links to the east, and the urban area of Liverpool.

With house prices rising rapidly in this area, the council has made many plans for massive suburban housing estates to be built. One, near Ysgol Clywedog, will include a small shopping centre and another primary school.

In late January 2006, a new company called the Wrexham, Shropshire and Marylebone Railway (WSMR), was formed. In September 2007, the Office of Rail Regulation granted the company, trading as Wrexham & Shropshire permission to operate services from Wrexham to London via Shrewsbury, Telford and the West Midlands from early 2008. This will restore direct services to London from Wrexham and Shropshire. The company's operations will be based in Wrexham, creating 50 jobs at an operating depot in the town.

[edit] Public services

Wrexham Maelor Hospital (Ysbyty Maelor Wrecsam in Welsh) is the areas' major acute district hospital with 700 beds, and one of the three core hospitals in North Wales. It is situated in the south of the town, on Croesnewydd Road. In 1985 major expansion took place on the site modernising many of the existing departments. It is also the headquarters of the North East Wales NHS Trust, for which it is the principal health service provider. Other NHS hospitals within the borough are Chirk Community and Penley Polish Hospital.

Yale Hospital (Ysbyty Ial in Welsh) situated close to the Maelor Hospital on Wrexham Technology Park is Wrexham's largest private hospital with over 25 beds. Formerly BUPA Yale Hospital, it is now owned and operated by Classic Hospitals.

Wrexham is served by North Wales Police; their Eastern Division H.Q in the centre of the town.

The local fire station is situated on Bradley Road close to the Island Green and central retail parks.

[edit] Notable people

A number of notable people have been born or lived in Wrexham over the years. Among them are:

Current residents include:

  • Brent Cockbain - current (naturalised) Welsh rugby international, lives in Wrexham area and married to a girl from Gresford
  • Joey Jones - football player who played for Liverpool, Chelsea and Wrexham
  • Dennis Taylor - ex snooker World Champion, currently living in Llay

[edit] References

[edit] External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

(Source: Wikipedia)
 
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