Pontcysyllte Aqueduct gets a clean-up ready for summer

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Leader Live)

THE heart of a World Heritage Site set to welcome thousands of visitors over the summer was given a spring clean to ensure it looks the part.

Volunteers gathered at Trevor Basin, near Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, to give officers from Wrexham Council’s environment department a helping hand to make the area look its best.

Visitors are expected to flock to the area over the upcoming bank holidays and the area is always popular over the summer.

Helpers spruced up the site by picking up litter as council road sweepers also gave the area a thorough clean.

Llangollen Rural councillor Pat Jeffares said: “The day was a great chance to sweep the place clean and I was very pleased because, coming from Froncysyllte, there was a bit of a problem with litter.

“The area needed a good clean up and the council lads really helped out.

“This is a World Heritage Site and it needs to be a priority because people come from across the world to visit here.

“We should be trying to sell it as a destination and keeping it clean is a big part of that.”

Cllr David A. Bithell, Wrexham Council’s lead member for the environment and public protection, said: “These type of events are an excellent example of how communities can work together to take pride in their areas and the environment department is always happy to help wherever possible.”

Earlier this year, ambitious plans to redevelop the facilities around the aqueduct, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009, were unveiled aimed at improving the visitor experience and to help generate extra revenue.

A £1.5million masterplan was jointly commissioned by Wrexham Council and the Canal and River Trust in October last year which covers the next 10 years.

The report, by consultants Pleydell Smithyman, recommended existing land and buildings within the Trevor Basin should be developed and more tourist facilities should be provided.

The report recommended proposals to charge for parking at the site should be scrapped for fear of limiting visitor numbers in the future.

But it added parking provision should be looked at annually and did not rule out implementing charges at a later date.

The total cost of implementing the plan comes to £1,580,904.

Plans include an improved visitor centre at Trevor Basin, which will house a new café, retail area and activity and events space.

Extra car parking space close to the basin and improved toilet facilities are also on the cards and a new ‘viewing station’ will offer views of the 126ft aqueduct.

Canopies could also be installed along the east of the canal for bad weather days and improvements will be made to walking routes in the surrounding area.

In March, plans for a floating cafe were submitted to Wrexham Council in the hopes of attracting even more visitors and the Canal and River Trust are now looking for a catering firm to take on the cafe.

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