The man who spearheaded the campaign for a National Football Museum in Wrexham has urged the Welsh Government to build on the work of a feasibility study that backed the proposal.
Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd launched the campaign three years ago with local politicians and the Wrexham Supporters’ Trust at The Racecourse ground. He said the findings of the feasibilty study were important in two respects:
“Firstly it establishes the need for a national football museum and, secondly, that it should be based in Wrexham. Both are important conclusions because there was some scepticism about our campaign at the outset.
“The report's findings are also a vindication of the campaign launched three years ago, when I and Plaid Cymru colleagues first went public alongside Wrexham Supporters’ Trust directors at The Racecourse.
“Back then, we argued that a national football museum should be based in Wrexham, the spiritual home of the game. This is where football started in Wales and it’s still home to the oldest existing international stadium in the world as well as the third oldest football club in the world. It's also where the FA of Wales has chosen to invest in the future with a National Football Development Centre at Collier's Park.
“Plaid Cymru made the case for a National Football Museum in its 2016 manifesto and ensured the feasibility study was funded in the 2017-8 budget by the Welsh Government.”
But Mr Gruffydd said he was expecting more from the report and would be asking more of the Welsh Government: “We need to see a timetable to make this happen as soon as possible - let's get on with it.
“We also need to ensure it's a proper National Museum, a part of the family of National Museum Wales rather than the local museum that is advocated in this report.
“And I have to say I'm disappointed that proposal to have it located at The Racecourse is dismissed in a single paragraph. Why? Plaid Cymru is keen to see this development happen and will continue to press for this museum to be catalyst for the redevelopment of The Racecourse Ground.”
Mr Gruffydd said the failure, to date, to establish a National Museum in the North-east was an historic failing that needed to be put right. He said this was a unique opportunity to right that wrong and urged the Welsh Government not to miss that chance.
He added: “Here’s a real opportunity to build on the findings of the study and make sure it happens. Let’s get on with it for the benefit of Wrexham, football and the local economy.”