A further £5.4m is being provided by Welsh Government for the development of the new Football Museum for Wales in Wrexham, the spiritual home of Welsh football.
The funding is part of an agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.
Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden made the announcement on a visit to the city and comes at a time when interest in Welsh football is at an all-time high.
The development of the new Football Museum is part of a wider project that will see the current Wrexham Museum building on Regent Street fully refurbished and transformed into a ‘museum of two halves’ – a major new national attraction for the city centre.
The Football Museum half of the building will celebrate Welsh football, past and present, in all its diversity, from grassroots clubs to the national teams, as well as highlighting Wrexham’s historic achievements in the sport and celebrating the rich heritage of the County Borough.
Meanwhile, in the same building, new galleries will be created to display the Wrexham Museum collections, which means an enhanced experience for visitors and a first-class, modern venue for discovering the fascinating and eventful story of our region of North East Wales.
Celebrating Wrexham’s ‘unique cultural heritage’
Lead Member for Partnerships and Community Safety at Wrexham County Borough Council, Councillor Paul Roberts, said, “I’d like to thank the Welsh Government for their continued support for Wrexham, the spiritual home of football, to continue to develop the Football Museum for Wales.
“This is a really exciting project as football plays such a large part in our culture and identity and the people of Wrexham and across Wales can now be assured that the Welsh Football Collection will be preserved for present and future generations in Wales.
“This will be developed alongside a new museum for Wrexham which is currently home to a large and interesting collection of historical objects which shows the unique cultural heritage of Wrexham.”
‘We are now at a very exciting stage’
Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden said: “Wrexham is the birthplace of Welsh football so it’s the ideal location to celebrate the sport’s heritage.
“We have seen many successes, especially in recent years, in men’s and women’s football, and ensuring the dramatic and emotive events on the international stage, the history and development of club football in Wales and the spirit and diversity of the Welsh football community is told in one place will be vital for present and future generations.
“The new museum will become a key venue in the city as well as for North Wales’ tourist and visitor offer. It also comes at an exciting time for Wrexham AFC as they aim to get back into the Football League.
“I am grateful to all our partners who we continue to work closely with on this project including Wrexham County Borough Council and the FAW.
“We are now at a very exciting stage and the funding announced today, subject to conditions and approval of a Full Business Case in due course, will see community and pan-Wales engagement on the project continue as well as developing the content, collections and exhibitions through to construction and opening of the new Football Museum for Wales.”
‘Working together to make it happen’
Many themes will be showcased at the Football Museum for Wales in Wrexham including Welsh language communities, fan culture, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and LGBTQ+ experiences.
Since 2020, more than £800,000 in Welsh Government funding has already ensured the appointment of a dedicated Football Curator and Engagement Officers, the progression of designs, and a pan-Wales public engagement and community consultation to develop proposed plans and content.
Designated Member Siân Gwenllian said: “We have all seen the pride and joy the national team has brought us in recent years and how important football is to Wales.
“This redeveloped museum will celebrate our nation’s contribution to the game and the heritage and legacy it provides for us all. Wrexham, a city steeped in football history, is a fitting home for this exciting project and I am delighted we are working together to make it happen.”
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