Business leaders have given a big thumbs up to news that Wrexham has been granted city status following a competition to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Wrexham Business Professionals have campaigned for more than a decade to help secure city status and say they are “cock-a-hoop” that the bid was successful, having previously failed last time around in 2012.
According to the group, made up of successful businesses and highly skilled professionals working together to promote regional prosperity and the enterprise and expertise in the region, becoming a city is a “fantastic once-in-a-generation” opportunity.
Wrexham joins seven other winners from across Britain and the overseas territories – including Bangor in Northern Ireland, Stanley in the Falklands, and Colchester in England.
The competition for city status has taken place in each of the last three jubilee years, with previous winners including Newport, which became a city in 2002.
Ian Edwards, a senior member of Wrexham Business Professionals and a director of Allington Hughes, said: “We have supported the idea of Wrexham becoming a city for many years. As far as we are concerned, this is a no-brainer and is one of the best things to have happened to Wrexham for a long time
“Even before the pandemic and the consequences of the pandemic we’ve always thought that being a city would give Wrexham a lot of kudos and would provide a massive economic benefit for the whole of North Wales.
“During the pandemic some business in Wrexham have done well but others – notably in leisure, tourism and hospitality – have really suffered and we really have to get back on our feet economically.
“It’s not just about putting Wrexham on the map – being a city will provide an effective lever in attracting inward investment and new jobs which will help the whole area thrive and prosper.
“The benefits of city status transform the fortunes of the town and provide a better future for the people who live here.
“It feels like the stars have now aligned perfectly and that the time is now right to do our best to seize this opportunity.
“The fact that Wrexham AFC has been bought by Hollywood A-listers Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney helped add bit of magic and stardust to the bid.
“A lot of people across the world hadn’t heard of Wrexham before and now other Hollywood stars are embracing the story and putting on the club’s shirt.
“We’ve never had such a high profile – not just nationally but internationally.
“You really couldn’t script it better. There’s never going to be a better time to become Wales’s seventh city.”
It was a sentiment echoed by the group’s chair, chartered accountant Gill Kreft, co-owner of the Pendine Park care organisation.
She said: “City status will give Wrexham a huge fillip and provide the recognition it deserves as the commercial capital of North Wales.
“City status will undoubtedly help attract more inward investment and funding into the town and the surrounding area.
“It will also give us an enhanced reputation and status as well and raise awareness of what a great place this is and what a lot it has to offer. Wrexham has a lot going for it.
“It will be a massive boost for us and for North Wales and give the town more confidence about itself.
“Hopefully, we can now go for a hat-trick with Wrexham AFC finally winning promotion and being crowned as City of Culture 2025. Fingers crossed!”