Wales

Wrexham Welsh football museum plans 'lack clarity'

Wrexham Museum
Image caption Wrexham Museum is the Welsh Government's preferred location for a new football museum, but the building has been described as "old fashioned"

Greater clarity is needed over plans for a new national football museum in Wales, it is claimed.

Wrexham Museum has been chosen as the preferred site despite a campaign for a purpose-built museum in the shadow of the Wrexham FC's Racecourse Stadium.

The plans have been described as "woolly" and lacking ambition, with renewed calls for a new building.

The Welsh Government said it is aiming to find agreement on the proposals "by the end of the summer".

A feasibility study estimated the cost of creating the football museum in Wrexham would be £4.4m, and that it would need about £145,000 of Welsh Government funding each year towards running costs.

"I'm glad they've announced it's going to be in Wrexham as that's where we saw the first growth of the game," said Phil Stead, author of Red Dragons: The Story of Welsh Football.

"I am disappointed that it's going to be an extension of the current set up at Wrexham Museum.

"It's a pretty old fashioned building and it would have been great to have seen something new, purpose built in the shadow of the Kop [stand] at the Racecourse. I think we should have made more of that."

Image caption Author Phil Stead is calling for a new building to house the museum

The Welsh Government has been accused of lacking clarity and ambition over the plans.

"The initial wording is a little bit woolly," said Mark Isherwood, Conservative AM for the North Wales region.

"We need a national football museum recognising the wonderful, historic and living inheritance that Wrexham has. At the moment we just don't know.

"We talk about Wrexham Museum as the location - great museum, but where's the scale? Where's the ambition? How are they going to accommodate that?"

The Welsh Government said it expected the Wrexham Museum plan would "deliver great results", but it would work with "key partners" to find a way forward.

"An extremely positive meeting between Wrexham County Borough Council officials and Welsh Government officials has already been held with further discussions to take place," a spokeswoman said.

"We are aiming to determine an agreed way forward by the end of this summer."

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