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Page last updated at 12:35 GMT, Wednesday, 10 November 2010
4m to restore Cefn Mawr's heritage
Former Maypole Dairy Company shop
The former Maypole Dairy Company shop, Crane Street, is the latest building to be restored.

Work is to start on the second phase of plans to restore a Wrexham village.

So far, £3m has been spent on the Cefn Mawr development to save historic buildings and features, including 13 shops, four homes and a chapel.

Now council officials are asking people's views before the next round of work gets under way.

A total of £1.2m in Lottery money is being made available to residents and businesses to restore original features to their properties.

An exhibition about the plans is being held at the village's former Ebenezer chapel, now a community centre.

Built in 1873, it is the only public building restored in the first part of the development in the conservation area.

In all, 18 historic buildings have been restored.

If you saw Cefn now compared with five or 10 years ago you'd be impressed
Michael Olijnyk, local business owner

Eleven new flats have also been created in disused space above the shops.

Coun Warren Coleman said: "The fact Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and [Llangollen] Canal recently became a world heritage site means the project is even more important now, as the village has close historic industrial links with the site.

'Industrial hub'

"So we're keen to listen to the thoughts and views of the local community before we push ahead with phase two," said Coun Coleman, chair of the Cefn Mawr Regeneration and Town Heritage Initiative Steering Group.

Cefn Mawr - with many buildings made from the famous Ruabon red brick - was once an industrial hub, serving nearby quarries, iron foundries and chemical works until their decline.

Now, up to 80 per cent in grants are being made available to the community from the money awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to help pay for the community's revival.

Commercial properties restored include a hairdressers, photographic studio and cycle shop.

Former Ebenezer chapel
Ebenezer chapel has been converted into a community centre

Michael Olijnyk, who runs Michael's Photography, said: "If you saw Cefn now compared with five or 10 years ago you'd be impressed.

"It has been a good investment for me but Cefn needs to bring people in - it's quiet."

He bought an empty shop six years ago and has converted the property into a studio and flats on the first floor.

Restoration revealed a piece of railway track had been used to hold up the first floor and which had to be removed during renovations.

Mr Olijnyk reckons more could be made of the community's industrial history to attract visitors due to the "amazing buildings" and other features such as track ways and alleys linking the community which is on different levels.

The former Maypole Dairy Company shop, Crane Street, is the latest building to be returned to its original glory.

'Beautiful mosaic'

It is said to be one of the most "elaborate and richly detailed buildings" in Cefn Mawr.

The diary company operated mainly in Wales and the Marches, renowned for its decorative shops, according Wrexham council regeneration project manager Paul Blackburn.

He said attention to detail was important when restoring buildings such as the old dairy shop.

"The original details have been carefully recreated with help from local specialists, including the cast-iron cresting, richly detailed fascia, signage and a beautiful mosaic threshold reproduced from old photographs," he said.

"During the restoration, historic tiles were also uncovered on the interior walls.

"The original manufacturer is still operating so any missing or damaged tiles have been carefully replaced with their help."

The exhibition runs from Thursday-Friday, 17-19 November, 1000 - 1600 GMT, with a Q&A session with regeneration and heritage advisors on Saturday, 20 November, 1000 - 1400 GMT.




SEE ALSO
2.5m Lottery funding for towns
17 May 10 |  Wales
Villagers plan new stretch of canal
23 Jun 10 |  People & Places
Wales' oldest football club move
10 Aug 10 |  People & Places
Town's name built on red bricks
29 Feb 08 |  North east

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