ABOUT THE PROJECT
Brymbo Heritage Project is being driven by local people who are passionate about conserving and celebrating Brymbo’s industrial heritage. Together we are Brymbo Heritage Group (BHG), a voluntary group that was set up in the 1990s. Our group has grown considerably since then, and it has developed a vision for the remains of the former iron and steelworks and fossil forest area to play a major role in the area’s ongoing regeneration.
In 2013 we were successful in obtaining a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for £97,500 to run an exciting project – Brymbo’s Heritage Renaissance: Building the Momentum – allowing us to bring paid personnel along with us to help turn our vision into a reality.
The Heritage Renaissance project has been a crucial first stage in the long term phased development of the former iron and steelworks and fossil forest area into visitor attraction, learning centre and small business hub.
The project celebrates Brymbo’s rich (and internationally significant) heritage, and this initial work has been concerned with re-connecting the local community with the space so they can help re-vision and deliver its future. The eventual restoration and reuse of the buildings, along with new buildings to help uncover and interpret our 300 million year old fossilised trees will help bring much needed regeneration to the area together with learning, employment and recreation opportunities.
Between 2014 and 2016 we have been:
- Recording and publishing oral histories linked to our industrial and social past
- Producing education resources for schools and working with them to deliver their curriculum
- Developing a programme of events and activities to engage and benefit the community
- Digitising and cataloguing documents, photographs and various artefacts
- Building, training and managing a team of volunteers
- Developing a website and social media presence to support all aspects of the project
- Developing a masterplan for the phased physical development of the site
In late 2015 we also secured £33,000 from the People’s Health Trust (the charitable trust arm of the UK Health Lottery) to further develop our work with volunteers through to the end of 2017. This work is being managed by our Heritage Horizons Project Officer Liz Mann – contact her via email@example.com or on 0800 772 0981.
At the end of 2015 we secured £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop our outline business plan. Find out about the funds we’ve raised so far – here
In September and December 2016 we submitted major capital funding bids to a range of funders to help us deliver Phase 1 of our master plan (see links below) between now and 2020. One of the key elements of this is the refurbishment of the Machine Shop – the building that you see as you drive or walk past us. TACP architects have worked with us to produce this impression of the restored building, fronted by a large open public square:
A second key element of Phase 1 is getting a building over the fossil forest to allow a 5-8 year excavation programme to take place indoors. That building might be fairly modest initially, but Byrom Clarke Roberts architects have worked with us to imagine what the eventual fossil forest visitor centre building might look like and have produced this concept using leaves as its roof sections:
In March 2017 we secured £1,996,482.71 from the BIG Lottery’s Create Your Space programme to deliver a 7 year programme that will see many ex-industrial sites in and around Brymbo benefit from reuse – as open space, as walks, as places to meet and enjoy the outdoors. We’ve called this project ‘Roots to Shoots’ and by the end of 2017 we’re aiming to outline the way it will as part of this website. In the meantime there are a series of events being planned over the summer and autumn of 2017 to explain more and help people to get involved in making good things happen.
The project as a whole is managed by our Heritage Officer, Gary Brown. Gary is available on 0800 772 0981 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Documents available to download:
Master Plan – Full doc – Sept 2015 (produced by the Prince’s Regeneration Trust)
Progress so far – Apr 2016 (we’ve come along way…even further yet to go though!)
Details of our three staff (everything else is done by volunteers!):
Gary – Brymbo Heritage Officer – Job Description (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and BIG Lottery Create Your Space programme)
Liz – Heritage Horizons Project Officer – Job Description (funded by the People’s Health Trust)
Ken – Heritage Horizons Project Officers – Job outline (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund)