The realisation of a Football Museum for Wales here in Wrexham has come a step closer with the appointment of the design team.
Haley Sharp Design (hsd), together with architects Purcell and quantity surveyors MDA Consulting, will work with Wrexham Council and the Welsh Government to develop the designs of the new museum before construction begins in 2022.
Meet the team
hsd are world leading interpretative designers who have nearly 40 years of experience leading visitor-focussed museum redevelopment projects. Other heritage projects they’ve worked on include Stonehenge Visitor Centre, Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and the Ice Age Fossils State Park in Las Vegas. Their experience working in Wales includes Big Pit: National Coal Museum, Blaenavon World Heritage Site and Cardigan Castle.
David Donoghue, Creative Director at hsd commented: “We are proud to be working with Wrexham Council, the Welsh Government and communities across Wales to develop a new, dynamic museum experience to enable everyone to actively engage with their heritage. We can’t wait to start exploring the rich stories and collections, and to create impactful and exciting proposals.”
Purcell are one of the world’s leading design practices with more than 70 years’ experience as architects, masterplanners and heritage consultants. This includes experience with the existing museum building, having written a conservation plan for the building in 2005.
Purcell Associate, Jane Roylance, said: “Purcell are delighted to have the opportunity to continue working with Wrexham Council, supporting hsd and the project sponsors to achieve their vision for a football Museum for Wales and for Wrexham Museum; an iconic building in the heart of historic Wrexham.”
MDA Consulting are an international property and construction consultancy who also celebrated their 70th year of trading in 2021. MDA have extensive experience of working in the heritage sector and have in the past been involved in projects with the National Museum of Wales. Other notable heritage projects MDA have worked on include Alexandra Palace, Museum of London, Dorset County Museum, Stonehenge Visitor Centre and Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Managing Director, Steve Jones, said: “MDA Consulting are delighted to be part of the team to help deliver this exciting new project for Wales and Wrexham.”
‘Real progress being made’
The new Football Museum will be based within the Wrexham Museum building on Regent Street in the town centre.
Major refurbishment work will be carried out so that both the Football Museum and Wrexham Museum can exist side by side.
Over the next few months, the team will work with the public and stakeholders to develop the design of the new museum, together with its visitor facilities and public programmes. As well as the new football museum, the Wrexham Museum displays will also be refreshed and enlarged as part of the project.
New Welsh Government Deputy Minister responsible for Arts and Sport Dawn Bowden said, “I am delighted to see that real progress is now being made in moving this very significant project for Wrexham and Northeast Wales forward and I look forward to working with Wrexham Council to bring this exciting development to completion.”
‘A major new attraction for Wrexham town centre’
Wrexham Council’s Lead Member for People – Communities, Partnerships Public Protection and Community Safety, Cllr Hugh Jones said: “The new Football Museum will be a major new attraction for Wrexham town centre, drawing visitors from all over the country and beyond. It will tell the story of football in Wales in all its diversity, from the clubs and supporters across the country, all the way up to the national teams and their historic achievements.
“We are delighted to welcome Haley Sharp Design and look forward to seeing this exciting project progressing as we move towards the next stage of its development.”
Wrexham Council’s Chief Executive, Ian Bancroft, said: “The appointment of such a strong world class design team reflects the commitment both of the Council and the Welsh Government to create a museum which will recognise the importance of football in Wales and secure Wrexham’s place as the spiritual home of football in Wales.
“This significant step forward for the project comes at a hugely exciting time for football fans here in Wrexham and across Wales. We congratulate the national team for their fantastic achievements this summer and for adding another thrilling chapter to Welsh football history. ”
Image: Cllr Hugh Jones (WCBC Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety), Ron Watson (hsd Project Manager), Marc Johnson (WCBC Procurement Assistant), Jane Roylance (Purcell AABC Architect), David Donoghue (hsd Creative Director), Katie Pampoulos (hsd Activity Planner), Steve Grenter (WCBC Heritage Services Manager), Joshua Price (WCBC Project Manager).