TACP Architects has been selected to take forward a visitor attraction project at a former North Wales steelworks in a £200,000 contract.
The Brymbo Heritage Trust procured the work through OJEU, and TACP will take on the project through to RIBA Stage 3. Heritage Lottery Fund backing has been secured to cover this stage, with further funding bids to be submitted once detailed plans emerge.
The programme as a whole is to include a visitor attraction, learning centre, lettable space and events venue within the former Brymbo steelworks site close to Wrexham. The project involves a mix of restoration, re-use and a limited amount of new build. The plans first emerged in 2014, with the Prince’s Regeneration Trust providing support for early plans.
Experience that TACP can call on includes a plethora of schools projects, along with conservation/heritage work at the Big Pit Mining Museum in Blaenafon, Carmarthen Castle and the Jubilee Tower at Moel Famau.
The overarching goal is to make the ex-industrial landscapes in and around Brymbo more accessible to use as public open space, a programme that has been named Roots to Shoots. Along with preserving and celebrating this industrial heritage is a project to celebrate the fossil forest. The Welsh Government’s Rural Community Development Fund has provided a £128,000 grant to link the elements.
In March 2017, £2m was secured from the HLF’s sister orgainsation BIG Lottery’s Create Your Space programme by BHT.
This was followed in September by confirmation of the first £800,000 from the total £4.9m in funding that has been requested from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Gary Brown, project manager of the trust, told Place North West that the intention is for the balance to be secured by 2020, and the visitor attraction to be open in 2021. This could be followed by two further projects of a similar value, Brown said.