BRYMBO HERITAGE TRUST
We're the team leading the vision for the conservation, restoration and celebration of Brymbo's rich natural, industrial and social history, and for helping the community make the most of the spaces and facilities it has on its doorstep. Read away, ask us a question, or step forward and join us in making the magic happen.
On 18th January 2023 we were pleased to be able to write to our volunteers to tell them about a long-awaited development:
'We have some further good news about the land deal underpinning the heritage project.
As you know many of our activities have been paused since the Autumn of 2019 while we took time - far longer than hoped - to renegotiate a legal agreement to lease the remains of the works, the fossil forest and the park above Lodge.
We agreed 'heads of terms' for a 25-year lease back on 4th April last year, and this has led to the detailing of the lease itself along with a covering legal contract called the 'agreement for lease'. We signed that document on Friday last week, bringing us a step closer to getting the project underway.
If you've ever bought a house, this is the commercial equivalent of 'exchanging contracts', with a 'completion date' for moving in a little farther down the line. How much farther depends on lots of factors, mostly outside of our control, to do with inflation impacts, additional fundraising, and planning consents. We're currently modelling the project's budget on a start date in either September this year or next January.
Over the coming weeks there will be lots of visible concerted efforts to get us as close to a September start as possible to minimise the further cost impacts of inflation.
As part of those efforts we're asking the two National Lottery funders to advance us around 8% of the funding they committed to us back in 2018 and 2020 (which has been held in Cardiff waiting for us to be ready) to re-engage the architects to start the preparation of tender packs for the construction and restoration work. This way, when we do eventually 'move in' we can go straight out to tender, appoint contractors and get the work underway.
Meanwhile, reaching the 'exchange' point also means we are being granted a new licence to do some works on-site ahead of the lease starting. This will replace the one for the fossil forest that expired in July 2021, and is much wider in scope.
It will allow us to do fencing and bridge repairs in the park area, conduct further surveys in the old works, empty the Machine Shop and Cider mill, and transfer their contents and activities to shipping containers. Work cataloguing and analysing fossil specimens can restart too, and there's lots of tidying up to do!
Consequently, we'll be looking to resume volunteering in a big way. We will also be looking at running a small number of public 'open day'-style events this year - no Brymbo Rocks yet though!
As we start this next chapter we'll be growing our board of trustees to help us prepare to deliver the largest community-led heritage project North Wales has ever seen, and we'll start the call for expressions of interest very soon.
Thanks again for your commitment and faith. We're getting there!'
Wish best wishes, and on behalf of the trustees and staff.'