A belated Hello, I’m back! from your chairman

Sorry I’ve let this website go dormant over the last couple of years. As most of you will know, I certainly haven’t been less active in working for our town, and that’s been the problem. There are only so many hours in every day!

These are challenging times to be a town centre trader, but there is much good news as well as bad. It’s still possible to prosper and succeed here with the help of our magnificent, passionate and friendly fellow townspeople.

Please do get in touch and share your thoughts and suggestions:
email me through the contact form on this website,
message me on Facebook,
or even drop into my shop on Chester Street for a face-to-face chat.
If you do that, do ask for me if you don’t see me, I am often on the premises but working in our upstairs office/workshop
Best wishes, Ruth Rees (Wrexham Business Group Chairman)

Community Interest Company

We aim to take the work of revitalising Wrexham’s town centre to a new, exciting level. The next Street Festivals, clean up days, and other initiatives will be bigger and better than ever!  Up to now, all these things have been done by a relatively small, informal group of volunteers. All of us are members of the Wrexham Business Group and the Town Centre Forum.

We now realise that to really move things forward effectively, we need a new, more formally constituted body which can apply for funding from various sources.  It will have other advantages too; it will protect us from personal liability in the case, say, of some kind of accident happening during one of our events, and it should carry more weight when interacting with local and national government.

We’ve been investigating setting up a Community Interest Company for some months now. These CICs are a relatively new idea; they are real limited liability companies, registered with Companies House, but they are run for the benefit of the community rather than to make a profit, and their directors are normally unpaid.  Quite a few towns now have a CIC involved in some way; one nearby example is Church Stretton, and there’s also Chalk CIC in Oswestry.

At first we thought that we could use the Town Centre Forum Steering Group as the basis for our CIC. But many who sit on that are either Council officers or Councillors, and none of them are able to serve on a CIC. So we have come up with the idea of using the name of the existing Wrexham Business Group, which is already central to so many town centre activities.  We are sorting out all the necessary paperwork – we are very grateful to John Gallanders of AVOW for his invaluable help with this. The new CIC will likely sit alongside the existing Business Group rather than replacing it, and its first directors will be Ruth, Laura and Matt from the Business Group committee. (Nigel was originally intending to be a director as well, but changed his mind and never became one.)

Any questions or comments, do feel free to email, or you can start a discussion on our Facebook Group if you prefer. And of course you can come along to the next Business Group meeting, which is on Thursday 17th September at 6 pm at Saith Seren, Chester Street.

Revitalising Wrexham’s town centre

We aim to take the work of revitalising Wrexham’s town centre to a new, exciting level. The next Street Festivals, clean up days, and other initiatives will be bigger and better than ever!  Up to now, all these things have been done by a relatively small, informal group of volunteers. All of us are members of the Wrexham Business Group and the Town Centre Forum.

We now realise that to really move things forward effectively, we need a new, more formally constituted body which can apply for funding from various sources.  It will have other advantages too;  it will protect members from personal liability in the case, say, of some kind of accident happening during one of our events, and it should carry more weight when interacting with local and national government.

We’ve been investigating setting up a Community Interest Company for some months now. These CICs are a relatively new idea; they are real limited liability companies, registered with Companies House, but they are run for the benefit of the community rather than to make a profit, and their directors are normally unpaid.  Quite a few towns now have a CIC involved in some way; one nearby example is Church Stretton, and there’s also Chalk CIC in Oswestry.

At first we thought that we could use the Town Centre Forum Steering Group as the basis for our CIC. But many who sit on that are either Council officers or Councillors, and none of them are able to serve on a CIC. So we have come up with the idea of using the existing Wrexham Business Group, which is already central to so many town centre activities.  We’re currently sorting out all the necessary paperwork – we are very grateful to John Gallanders of AVOW for his invaluable help with this. Also we are making sure that all of our members are happy for us to go ahead with the idea.  Members, Please do get in touch with Ruth or Matt if you have any questions or feedback on this or any other issue!

If all goes well we may be able to have the new CIC up and running before the next Street Festival on Saturday September 26th.  That’s going to be a fantastic day, everyone is coming up with so many ideas for making it more special than ever, and hopefully beneficial to businesses in a larger area of town, including the indoor markets.  Don’t miss it!

Town Centre Clean Up Plan Kicks Off

Ambitious plans to bring the heart and soul back into Wrexham Town Centre were kick-started yesterday, with hopes to attract shoppers back to the town.

Members of the newly energised Wrexham Town Centre Forum yesterday announced plans to ‘regenerate the town’, with two people standing for the Wrexham seat in the forthcoming General Election using cleaning materials and holding brooms to help out.

Plans will see forum members will work with the landlords of shops to tidy them up and to try and bring vacant properties back into use via a range of initiatives.

The Forum brings together representatives from the Council, businesses, the voluntary sector, the education sector and the police. The aim of Forum members is to improve Wrexham town centre, initially through the regeneration of Regent Street, Hope Street and the corners of High Street.

Working in conjunction with Keep Wales Tidy the aim is to create a ‘clean, vibrant street environment where more quality and varied businesses will wish to set up’.

Nigel Lewis, Chair of the Wrexham Town Centre Forum said: “We have recognised that as well as attracting visitors, Wrexham needs to focus on its core offering which is a convenient community based town, whose primary audience is the people who live in and around Wrexham. I am pleased that this initiative is being jointly developed by the private sector, voluntary sector and Wrexham County Borough Council.

“It’s a chicken and egg situation – people want more shops, shops want more people before they invest. That is why we need to implement initiatives designed to encourage people to come into the town more often and stay longer, and we hope that in turn will lead to more businesses investing which will help improve Wrexham.”

Early stages of the town centre clean-up started over the weekend, with Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Andrew Atkinson tidying up several signs in the area.

Mr Atkinson said: “There are loads of volunteers working on plans big and small to improve our town and one of the things we are planning is a Community Clean up Day on May 10th.

“In advance of this I’ve been out cleaning the signs to make town look a bit brighter. Some of these signs can’t be missed when you’re driving or are the first thing you see when you’re paying to park up, these little steps all help with creating the right first impressions for Wrexham.”

Mr Atkinson added: “No matter what we do to improve the town we have to get the basics right and a town clean up is a great place to start, I’ll be carrying on with the signs for sometime so if you see any really bad ones just let me know and I’ll see if I can add them to the list.”

Councillor Phill Wynn was also pictured (central broom holder in above picture) taking part in the clean up activities. Mr Wynn has recently declared himself as a parliamentary candidate via this post on the Wrexham.com Forums.

David A Bithell, Wrexham Council’s Lead Member for the Environment (pictured far left, not believed to be standing for office!) stated: “This is an excellent initiative which the Council is supporting. Working together will lead to improved pride in the town to make Wrexham a greener and cleaner place to live and work. We are fortunate to have so many people with a passion for our town with many years of experience in the private and public sector.”

The Forum is organising a community street clean and tidy up day on Sunday 10 May, the weekend before the Nightingale House Food and Drink Festival which will attract thousands of local people and visitors to the town centre. The following weekend, the Town Centre Forum is planning a community event in the town centre.

Co-op Food; Co-op Funeralcare; Boots; Marks and Spencer and Santander, the local Wrexham Healthy High Streets’ team have committed their support to the community street clean and tidy up day and they will be supplying volunteers to help and refreshments.