The Welsh Government is providing a further £5.45 million for the new Football Museum for Wales in Wrexham.
The funding is part of an agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.
Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden made the announcement on a visit to the city and comes at a time when interest in Welsh football is at an all-time high.
The museum, which will be within Wrexham Museum and see a substantial redevelopment of the building, will celebrate Wales’ football heritage and help build a legacy from the nation’s involvement in the men’s FIFA World Cup 2022, ensuring its history is valued and stories are recorded for future generations of players, supporters, and fans.
Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden said:
Wrexham is the birthplace of Welsh football so it’s the ideal location to celebrate the sport’s heritage.
“We have seen many successes, especially in recent years, in men’s and women’s football, and ensuring the dramatic and emotive events on the international stage, the history and development of club football in Wales and the spirit and diversity of the Welsh football community is told in one place will be vital for present and future generations.
“The new museum will become a key venue in the city as well as for North Wales’ tourist and visitor offer. It also comes at an exciting time for Wrexham AFC as they aim to get back into the Football League.
“Today’s announcement is a great example of the Welsh Government’s commitment to Wrexham and North Wales, especially following the recent disappointing news from the UK Government about the failed levelling-up fund bid.”
Many themes will be showcased at the Football Museum for Wales in Wrexham including Welsh language communities, fan culture, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and LGBTQ+ experiences.
Since 2020, more than £800,000 in Welsh Government funding has already ensured the appointment of a dedicated football curator and engagement officers, the progression of designs, and a pan-Wales public engagement and community consultation to develop proposed plans and content.
Protecting and promoting Wales’ culture and heritage forms part of the co-operation agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.
Designated Member Siân Gwenllian said:
Yma o Hyd fever spread across Wales and across the world last year with our national team reaching the world cup. It showed the pride and joy football has brought us in recent years and how important it is to Wales.
“This redeveloped museum will celebrate our nation’s contribution to the game and the heritage and legacy it provides for us all. Wrexham, a city steeped in football history, is a fitting home for this exciting project and I am delighted we are working together to make it happen.”
The Deputy Minister added:
I am grateful to all our partners who we continue to work closely with on this project including Wrexham County Borough Council and the FAW.
“We are now at a very exciting stage and the funding announced today, subject to conditions and approval of a Full Business Case in due course, will see community and pan-Wales engagement on the project continue as well as developing the content, collections and exhibitions through to construction and opening of the new Football Museum for Wales.”
Lead Member for Partnerships and Community Safety at Wrexham County Borough Council, Councillor Paul Roberts, said:
I’d like to thank the Welsh Government for their continued support for Wrexham, the spiritual home of football, to continue to develop the Football Museum for Wales.
“This is a really exciting project as football plays such a large part in our culture and identity and the people of Wrexham and across Wales can now be assured that the Welsh Football Collection will be preserved for present and future generations in Wales.
“This will be developed alongside a new museum for Wrexham which is currently home to a large and interesting collection of historical objects which shows the unique cultural heritage of Wrexham.”