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Monday, 28 October, 2002, 11:12 GMT
Town nets UK regeneration award
Wrexham Football Club stand
Money was spent on Wrexham Football Club
Wrexham has scooped a major accolade after more than 200m was been spent improving the area in the last eight years.

The town has been handed a best practice in regeneration award from the British Urban Regeneration Association (Bura).

Wrexham town centre
Wrexham has changed in eight years

Money has been spent on retail developments and housing projects, as well as sport and education facilities.

Earlier this month, house prices in the town rocketed by 60% and it featured in the top 10 of the UK's property hotspots.

Now residents are celebrating again after news that the town is set to receive national recognition for its multimillion pound makeover.

The face of the town began to change in 1994 with the formation of The Wrexham Partnership.

The Welsh Development Agency (WDA) and Wrexham council are part of the group, and the opinions of local people are also represented by the Town Centre Forum.

Yale College, Wrexham
Yale college was redeveloped

The partnership is one of five 2002 award winners chosen by Bura, an independent organisation set up in 1990 to provide a forum for all those involved in regeneration projects.

Bura states that its winning schemes must make "a successful economic contribution to the regeneration of the area" and "act as a catalyst for further development".

Other Bura award winners this year include a riverside regeneration project in Newark and Union Square in North Shields.

Big money

Since the Wrexham Partnership was formed, more than 14m of public money and 170m from the private sector has been ploughed into improving the town.


It is easy to see the results of successful regeneration in Wrexham

Council leader Shan Wilkinson

The revenue has been spent on numerous projects including multiimillion pound retail developments at Island Green and Henblas Square, new residential schemes, and a new football stand at Wrexham Football Club.

The former War Memorial hospital on the outskirts of the town centre was also restored at a cost of 14m and is now used by Yale sixth form college.

Wrexham resident Mary Jones said the town has improved dramatically: "I remember when it was nowhere near as nice as this and you had to go to Chester to shop.

"The area has really come on," she said.

Artists impression of Wrexham bus station
A new bus station is planned for the town

Shan Wilkinson, leader of Wrexham council said the award was well deserved.

"It is easy to see the results of successful regeneration in Wrexham.

"However it is gratifying to know that the hard work of the Wrexham Partnership is recognised."

The redevelopment of the town centre is continuing with the building of a new multi-million pound bus station.


More from north east Wales
See also:

10 Oct 02 | Wales
30 Aug 02 | Wales
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