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Council set to establish charitable company for Wrexham’s City of Culture bid

Promoting Wrexham's previous bid for UK City of Culture (Pic: Wrexham Council)

WREXHAM’S City of Culture 2029 bid will be run by a charitable company after plans were backed by councillors.

The Executive Board met on Tuesday (December 12) and looked at the delivery model for the 2029 bid, following the narrow loss of the city’s 2025 bid earlier this year.

Feedback from the 2025 bid had been positive, but this most recent bid will be independent of the council through the charitable company, yet supported by it.

Councillors voted to support the establishment of a charitable company limited by guarantee using a foundation model at the meeting.

They also backed it being named “Wrexham Community and Culture Trust/Ymddiriedolaeth Cymunedol a Diwylliannol Wrecsam” with the plan to develop a public-facing name in the early part of next year.

Cllr Hugh Jones (Con) introduced a report on the bid to the meeting, where he described how looking into the delivery model for the “ambitious” bid saw an established interim board.

He also paid tribute to “talented” Joanna Swash, the chair of the interim board, for her work.

Cllr Nigel Williams (Ind) seconded the report, and added that “there’s a lot of experience and talent” on the board.

Cllr Dana Davies (Lab) thanked the officers and lead member for including the recommendations of Scrutiny Committee in the report.

She said she “understood the reasons why” and had no doubt about the calibre of the people and the trustees on the board.

Cllr Beverley Parry-Jones (Con) did raise concerns about the bid and the setting up of a charitable company.

She said: “Bare in mind we must remember we are in a cost of living crisis and we are facing austerity. We’ve got absolutely no guarantees in 2029 that we will be successful in this bid.”

She “sincerely hoped” so but she added that it was “starting to feel like a vanity project” in her opinion and wanted to make that observation.

Cllr Jones answered that it was best to talk to people from a “very broad cross-section of the community” involved in the bid like the “play sector” and “less fortunate areas” of the county borough who have embraced the bid and added that it could “raise aspirations”.

He added: “We’re in it to win it, obviously.”