National football museum considered for Wales

Plans for a national football museum in Wales were considered by the Welsh Assembly this week.

The town of Wrexham in north-east Wales was recommended as the best location for the museum. The town is home to the Welsh Football Collection, housed at Wrexham County Borough Museum (pictured), with some calling Wrexham the “spiritual home” of football in Wales.

A feasibility report suggests a £4.4m extension onto the County Borough Museum which would house a football-specific venue. Other sporting heritage could also be included in the museum.

The museum could attract an estimated 80,000 visitors a year to the town, with an estimated annual running cost of £144,500  provided by the Welsh government.

Llyr Gruffydd of the political party Plaid Cymru said: “The report’s findings are a vindication of the campaign launched three years ago, when I and Plaid Cymru colleagues first went public on this alongside Wrexham Supporters Trust directors.”

The minister for culture, tourism and sport, Dafydd Elis-Thomas, said: “We will respond to the debate in a practical manner, because my intention after today is to start to take action.”

He said he would “continue to consult with the sector … I won’t be making final decisions until I’ve had a lengthy conversation with those who have contributed today.”

Another report considered by the Welsh Assembly proposed the creation of a new national gallery of contemporary art for Wales. The report proposed the creation of decentralised collection of newly commissioned works, with a physical location established later. The collection would remain distributed around Wales, with all venues sharing a ‘national gallery’ brand.

Costs of the gallery project could be between £50m and £180m.

The Welsh government has yet to come to a decision on either proposal.

Welsh Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1980 and now has a permanent home at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. In addition, there is already a UK National Football Museum in Manchester, which replaced an earlier venture in Preston.

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