The new Museum is the centrepiece of a major community heritage project funded by Wrexham County Borough Council with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Welsh Assembly Government.
Jennifer Stewart, Head of HLF in Wales, which invested £950,000 into the museum, said: "It’s great to see how the funding has made such a big difference to the Wrexham Museum & Archives. Through improved facilities, increased exhibition space and interactive displays, the museum will become a hub for locals and a magnet for visitors to the area."
"Young people, families and children will now be able to get actively involved in exploring the town’s rich history at the museum and help take what matters to them into the future."
Prof John Davies who refers to the Wrexham County Borough Museum as ‘one of Wales’ best museums’ cut the ribbon to officially declare the £2million refurbishment open to the public. Over the last twelve months the museum has undergone the first in a series of improvements designed to encourage more people in the local area to discover their heritage.
The museum has been fully modernised to include a host of new attractions and interactive displays designed for all the family, including ‘Smelly Old Wrexham’ where visitors can follow their nose through the streets of Victorian Wrexham including the famous aroma of the Wrexham Brewery.
For the first time the museum includes a gallery dedicated to showing highlights from the national collections in North East Wales. Designed to feature objects from the National Library of Wales and Amgueddfa Cymru ~ National Museum Wales, on opening the gallery will proudly display items from Wrexham's own Welsh Football Collection, ‘Hall of Heroes - The Candidates’ an exhibition dedicated to the Welsh Football Association players who have appeared at the home of Wrexham football, the Racecourse ground.
Mike Tooby, Director of Learning, Programmes and Development at Amgueddfa Cymru ~ National Museum Wales, said: "Effective partnership between regional museums such as Wrexham and Amgueddfa Cymru is essential to ensure excellent museum provision to people across Wales. This particular initiative is a great way of sharing items from the national collection and the expertise that goes with them."
Librarian at the National Library of Wales, Andrew Green said: "We’re very glad to be back in Wrexham, working with friends and colleagues to help make sure that one of Wales’s most important centres has a museum worthy of its importance and history."
Cllr Bob Dutton OBE, Deputy Leader for the Council and Lead Member for Communities and Performance, said: "The Museum will offer an exciting and interactive learning experience for young people and the older generation alike. I am amazed at the transformation and am confident that this project will protect Wrexham’s heritage for year’s to come."
"I strongly suggest people take an early opportunity to visit and appreciate the refurbished presentations and facilities."
Minister for Heritage, Alun Ffred Jones, said: "I am delighted that we have been able to support the refurbishment of this very important museum. I hope local people and visitors alike will take time to visit the many new attractions here. The museums of Wales play a critical part in both preserving our heritage and in sharing the excitement of their stories locally, nationally and internationally."
Notes to editors
From Tuesday 15th February 2011 the museum opening times are:
Last admission 30 minutes before closing. Closed bank holidays.
Wrexham Museum website
Nicola Jones on 01978 297 425 or 07921 379 599
Wrexham County Borough Museum and Archives on 01978 297 460.