Page last updated at 13:33 GMT, Monday, 1 March 2010

Dragon tower 'gateway' proposed

Dragon tower image
The dragon tower would provide a view over north Wales and the Marches, its designer says

A dragon towering over the north Wales landscape could be welcoming visitors to the area if a businessman's dreams can be realised.

The 25m (82ft) bronze sculpture would top a 40m (131ft) tower and host an interactive visitor centre and a viewing gallery at the top.

The £6m plan would include an art centre and gallery next to the tower.

Wrexham council leader Aled Roberts said the project would "strengthen and develop" tourism in the area.

The project, called Waking the Dragon, would feature a tower within a landscaped area of trees and paths depicting the four branches of the Mabinogion, the collection of mythological tales of early Wales.

The project is the dream of Wrexham businessman Simon Wingett, who hopes to fund the estimated £6m building costs through charitable donations, the sale of steps within the the tower and investor finance.

He hopes to create 50 jobs, saying he saw the project as an "eighth wonder of Wales".

The council said no application for planning permission for the site had been received.

Mr Roberts said: "There is no doubt that this project will strengthen and further develop the tourism and heritage offer available to visitors in this part of North East Wales.

"The dragon project will not only celebrate our unique heritage and culture, it will also boost the local economy with the creation of local jobs.

"The dragon's location will provide unrivalled views across Wrexham and the surrounding borderlands."

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