Wrexham County Borough Council, Solutia UK and Glandŵr Cymru – the Canal & River Trust in Wales – have today published a masterplan for the Trevor Basin and surrounding area, which forms part of the World Heritage Site at Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
The masterplan sets out a vision for the area which protects the heritage on site, enhances the visitor attraction and brings economic and social benefits to the region.
The masterplan includes a new visitor hub welcoming people to the site, improvements and expansion of car parking and commercial ventures such as a tree top walk, camping and glamping. Subject to funding and commercial interest, the plan could be delivered in stages over short, medium and longer term.
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct at Trevor Basin is a historically significant site that attracts over 300,000 visitors per year to the local area. Its current amenity offer is limited and consequently the site does not deliver to its full potential in terms of encouraging longer dwell times and leveraging visitor expenditure to the wider area.
The next stage will see the partners engage with Welsh and English governments to help deliver the funding required to bring forward the proposals.
"Creating a world class destination"
Ian Bancroft, Chair of the World Heritage Site Board and Terry Evans, Lead Member for Economy have said “It will be hugely important to the future management of the World Heritage Site and catalyst for transformation by creating a world class destination, in keeping with its status, to deliver a positive social and economic impact both locally and within the north Wales region.”
"Masterplan includes some exciting developments"
Solutia UK, the owners of the site which housed the former factory and makes up a significant part of the masterplan area, said “We were very happy to work with Wrexham Council and the Canal & Rivers Trust in the development of the masterplan. The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a stunning piece of industrial architecture and this masterplan includes some exciting developments around it and in the surrounding communities.
Mark Evans director at Glandŵr Cymru which looks after the canal and aqueduct, comments: “We are extremely excited by the news that a long term vision is taking a step closer to realisation. It’s an ambitious plan which is set to benefit on so many levels - from the Welsh economy through to the people enjoying the iconic waterway, by boat or on foot. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which is one of only three World Heritage Sites in Wales, and Trevor Basin truly deserves this focus and we look forward to working with our partners on the next stages in the forthcoming months and years.”
Generate approximately £75.7m for the economy
The masterplan has been developed over the past three years with Arcadis Consultancy and Stantec and has involved engagement with local residents, businesses and environment and community groups. It has the potential to generate approximately £75.7m (present value) of additional benefits for the Welsh economy over the next 30 years and generate £24.6 million in social value impacts from recreational users. It has the potential to significantly improve the quality and variety of the site's visitor offer driving new visitors spend, creating jobs close to an area of high deprivation and helping to put Wrexham's tourism sector onto a more even footing with other areas of North Wales.
Feature image - courtesy of Arcadis Consultancy