TY Pawb – A new dawn for Wrexham Town Centre.
Well, over the past two days we have had a lot of discussion on Wrexham Matters social media reference Ty Pawb. People as long as not abusive or swearing have been allowed to have their say. I have for a change been silent because too many individual comments to respond to but here is my take on it.
Many who know me, will understand my passion for the town, that’s why this group was set up. I generally say what I think and over the past couple of years I have not been short on expressing my feelings on this project, good , bad and ugly. So here is my current take, which will deal with a number of points that have been made.
“The project was not finished on Monday, and where has the £4.50 million gone.”” My response to this is a professional one because I am a Chartered Surveyor who has spent over 30 years managing construction projects. Every professional, and builder wants their projects to finish on time and budget. Many unforeseen things conspire against this. I don’t know the issues on this project but I am pretty sure everyone was doing everything they could to finish by the immovable opening date so WCBC and their team where really stuck between and rock and hard place in the last few weeks. Do they delay the opening by say a month which would have been a PR nightmare or do their best. I personally think they did a pretty good job and I was pleasantly surprised by how much had been done, and I am sure the remaining things will soon be finished. It was also vital to get the traders back into the market to start generating income for Ty Pawb and the traders. The £4.50 million. Well working in existing commercial buildings is an absolute nightmare, and money quickly evaporates on demolitions, alterations, stripping out and replacing all the services. All the new heating, electrics, lighting, air con has cost an absolute fortune. The bottom line here is the project appears to have been delivered more or less on time and on budget, which is a rarity in these days.
“The money could have been spent on roads, homeless, doing up shops other key services. ” Well this is absolutely not the case. The money was ring fenced for this project, if it had not been spent on this it would not have been spent in Wrexham full stop. Given WCBC have invested so little money in the town centre for years I think they have done a pretty damn goo job of turning £1.50m of their own money into a £4.50 m project. A fantastic return. And the WCBC element was again totally tied into a three way deal on this project with the other funders. WCBC now have a very valuable asset that has cost them a fraction of the construction cost. Pretty shrewd if you ask me.
” I don’t like the blockwork, and timber ” Well its never going to be to everyones taste. The Peoples Market needed significant investment so having a mix of market, community and art in this type of setting has huge potential. One place I would compare this to is Baltic Creative and Market in Liverpool. Absolutely thriving and Ty Pawb given support will also thrive. Would I have finished it off like that – no but thats is not the point. I’m not going to condemn the finish – the Architect made the choice and its been built, I will get over it. Please don’t be put off by the look, it will be the businesses, the arts community, the people of Wrexham that will make or break this not how that walls are finished.
“Why not regenerate the town “- we all want to see this. If anyone thinks big retailers are going to just flock back to Wrexham, or any other town – think again. National chains and restaurant chains are under increasing pressure and failing. Ty Pawb gives Wrexham a fighting chance. Without WCBC , Arts Council and Welsh Govt investment in Ty Pawb it is pretty unlikely the new owners would have bought the Henblas Street Block. Techniquest’ long held ambition to set up in the town would probably never have been realised. Walking down Henblas Street, and through Techniquest onto Chester Street, and the slightly un-finished Ty Pawb, put a huge smile on my face. After fighting for many things in Wrexham for years Im absolutely confident we have at last turned the corner.
Success breeds success. The market within Ty Pawb is absolutely necessary to its success and its great to see a number of Wrexham’s young successful business people taking up space in there. I am sure these along with the other traders will be working together to make the offering unique and exciting. Lets give them the chance to make it work.
Over the coming weeks we will see the work completed, and exciting events programme come to fruition and much much more. The team who will run it, is just coming together , lets give them a chance.
At long last we have a covered community space in the town.
A place for businesses to develop, for arts and culture which is huge UK industry to help lend its hand to regenerate the town, a place to eat, a place to keep dry in the rain, a place to hear performers in the town and most of all a place for us all to use in many different ways.
Is Ty Pawb perfect, no is anything? It will grow and develop, it is far better to do something imperfectly than nothing perfectly, so lets look beyond the things to complete, and the individual things we may not like, they will not kill us, and use this as the focal point to grow our community in the town.
WCBC have done well on this, so I for one congratulate them.