From town to city, Wrexham’s changing status welcomed by Glyndwr University

Students walking past St Giles Church

Date: May 2022

Wrexham is celebrating the award of city status to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, recognising its unique community and distinct local identity.

The news has been welcomed by Wrexham Glyndwr University Vice-Chancellor Professor Maria Hinfelaar, who said: “This is brilliant news and I have already congratulated the Leader and CEO of the Council.

“City status will help us to promote the university, nationally and internationally, as there are very few universities which have their main campus in locations without city status.

“This is something that Wrexham deserves and has aspired to for a long time.”

Rob Leigh, Glyndwr’s lecturer in Accountancy and Finance has spoken to the media about Wrexham’s potential prospects as it prepared to make the change from town to city.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: “Overall it’s a very positive thing for Wrexham, it is definitely going to help in the long run and research shows when a town becomes a city it can have a positive effect on the local economy.

“I think it’s a nod towards some of the local businesses that Wrexham has. It’s got one of the largest industrial estates in Europe with over 300 businesses and it’s got a rich heritage and a lot of tourist attractions and beauty spots.

“City status has a lot of intangible benefits – increased press coverage, it can woo in investors and business who are looking to invest in cities, so it can bring inward investment.

“One of the things Wrexham has is beauty hotspots and people living in other cities may be tempted to move out from more congested areas.

“It links nicely with the City of Culture bid. It’s a really positive time for Wrexham and its residents.”

While many are celebrating Wrexham’s new stature, Rob said there will still be people who need to be won over.

He added: “One thing the change of status is that it does cost money to become a city. There are people who think that money can be best spent elsewhere in the local authority budget.

“They also think there needs to be more investment especially in retail development in the city centre, and I can understand why that is, but hopefully this will be a catalyst for future investment to revive that city centre.”