The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is thrilled to announce that it has awarded a Project Viability Grant to Wrexham Warehouse Project to bring the North Wales Miners Rescue Station back to life for use by the community. This is one of six awards totalling £34,792 made in the latest grants meeting, with projects located from Shetland to Presteigne via Brechin, Glasgow and Belfast.
The North Wales Miners Rescue Station originally opened in 1913. It was financed by the North Wales Coal Owner’s Association in response to The Coal Mines Act 1911, which required coal owners to provide facilities where personnel could be trained to form specialist Miners Rescue Teams. It is located adjacent to the Racecourse Ground, the world’s oldest international football stadium and the home of Wrexham AFC.
Image: The exterior of the North Wales Miners Rescue Station.
The Grade II-listed site comprises a central entrance hall, a drill hall with the original training rescue chamber, offices, and a Superintendent’s House. The Miners Rescue Station ceased operating in 1986, at which stage it was taken on by the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service. The Fire Service vacated in the early 2000s. In 2014, the site was purchased by its current owner, who rescued it for the community.
Wrexham Warehouse Project is a resource for young people and adults facing economic and social disadvantage in the Wrexham area. The charity plans to restore the site in a phased approach. The first phase focused on adapting the entrance hall and drill hall to create a community space, café, an exhibition of the area’s coal mining history, and new toilets. To achieve this, a temporary, self-standing structure has been constructed within the partially demolished drill hall. The second phase will focus on restoring the Superintendent’s House to provide accommodation for four adults with learning difficulties and a live-in supervisor. The final phase will fully restore the drill hall – once complete, the amount of space will triple in size, enabling the charity to expand its range and volume of activities, and to accommodate more users.
The AHF Project Viability Grant is helping Wrexham Warehouse Project to commission a multi-disciplinary design team to complete surveys and ascertain the building’s condition, as well as outline repair costs to inform the remaining phases of work.