Originally built in 1899, Glyn Wylfa has undergone many transformations from a Victorian home to council offices to a derelict building ready to be pulled down and sold for development. It was at this point that a dedicated group of Chirk residents made it their mission to protect this piece of wonderful local heritage and breathe life back into their community.
Brian Colley, a semi-retired former managing director, is one of the residents who stepped in to offer his expertise.
“The building was in a sorry state with all the windows broken and the rain coming in,” says Brian. “It had been gutted by thieves and was completely overgrown.”
With lots of local support, the group finally convinced site owners, Wrexham County Borough Council, to let the community run the building as a social enterprise.
The campaigners secured funding from the Community Asset Transfer programme – a scheme run in partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and the Welsh Government to transfer assets owned by local authorities into the hands of the community.
“That was a real punch in the air moment for all of us involved,” explains Brian. “It’s a fantastic partnership.”
Today the enterprise is thriving; creating local jobs and providing the community with a café, visitor information centre and rentable office space.
“The community love the facility - we had 35,000 visitors last year,” says Brian. “It’s a really great hub that has built new relationships and created new friendships.”