PKC Group Meeting Tuesday 8th October 1900 @ The Holly Bush Inn
We the PKC Group are now holding monthly meetings in the Holly Bush Inn on the second Tuesday of each month, start time 1900. Next meeting will be 8th of October. Our main issue remains the Economic Regeneration of our community and the preferred route (because of opportunity) is for Sustainable Tourism Development. The opportunity that we have, are surrounded with, and intersected by could set us up as a Transport Hub and Tourist Destination in our own right, if the dots were simply joined together in accordance with, Welsh Planning Policy and the Future Generations Act 2015.
However, this does not seem to be happening. We offered WCBC twice their asking price for the Ebenezer to save it from going to auction earlier this year. We would like to reopen it as an Arts & Visitor Centre for the Cefn & Cefn Mawr at the centre of the Pontcysyllte WHS. However, although WCBC withdrew the Ebenezer from auction and offered it to us, the terms of sale by WCBC were unacceptable. Since then WCBC entered closed meetings with CCC, Cefn Community Council which we are not included in. Derek Wright has informed us an announcement will be made next month in October regarding CCC plans. The irony of all this is that the Ebenezer closed in 2013 from the very problem our village centre still struggles with, a lack of footfall in the middle of an area with one of the highest tourists counts in Wales.
With the opening of the new Aldi supermarket at the Ruabon roundabout we will see a further reduction in traffic and retail activity in our villages (all). Local Authorities like to blame internet shopping, but mail order is nothing new and is well over 100 years old. The truth is, satellite retail parks have been the root cause of decay for our town centres up and down the country. These retail parks built over the last 50 years pay councils premium rates which is why we see so many. Then to supposedly help local commerce in town centres, rates free areas are established, but what incentive does this give the local authorities to look after their local people? This is a bad situation and it is happening here in our community. There is also the ever-present possibility that another supermarket opening on the 2-acre site indicated for such on the A539. What chance do our local people and shop keepers stand when the large supermarkets are clubbing it out with approval from the council?
As you know and simply reading the various issues of the Cefn Community News Letter we have been consistently lobbying both CRT, Canal & River Trust and WCBC to include our community in the “Trevor Basin Master Plan” in ways that will work and although they say they have, we have yet to see proof of this. Following meetings, we have had with both, their main concern seems to be where to build the new multimillion-pound visitor centre?
Our main concern are the development areas, and what may happen there. In the 2012 Master Plan a new Hotel, Bar and Restaurant was indicated, and we know that a Plas Coch type affair will be opened at the Ruabon roundabout. This coupled with further franchise activity at the Trevor Basin will no doubt affect us in the Holly Bush Inn and all other local pubs. Therefore, we would like to invite all local landlords and pub owners to our next meeting in the Holly Bush Inn. We also invite all local businesses and commercial property owners to come along and see how we can stand together. We have estimated that between us, under the THI Scheme, we have invested something around £2M from our own funds into our village centre, and now is being written off in favour new development at the Trevor Basin and elsewhere?
We also invite all members of our community who have an interest in providing a better place for their Children and Grand Children in accordance with the FGA 2015 and WPP to come along as it says on our website. We must look forward and at long term positive planning for our community which is the largest community in the WHS, World Heritage Site corridor and struggling with the one of the highest unemployment rates in NE Wales. If you care about your family and community please come along, we would like to see you.
Dear Fellow People of the Cefn & Cefn Mawr and when we say that we mean all of us that live in the central section of the Pontcysyllte WHS around the aqueduct. That means Cefn Mawr, Cefn Bychan, Plas Madoc, New Bridge, Rhosymedre, Acrefair, Trevor, Garth, Froncysyllte and even Pentry I guess. We the PKC Group are now starting regular meetings on the first Tuesday of every other month and anyone with a genuine interest in our community moving on from post-industrial depression to economic recovery is welcome. This covers many aspects from Road Safety to Housing, but we believe must be led by bringing in tourism to our village centre and wider community. We have some of the best opportunity available in Wales on our doorstep and yet we see virtually nothing from it at present, and this is wrong. So, if you want to see improvement, join us, we will welcome you.
Sustainable Tourism Development will bring about Economic Regeneration and subsequently more work means more jobs offering our community more employment opportunity. We want to see a better deal for all of us and we are standing up and saying so. We are willing to take on whoever we need to, to get this done, and are doing so.
However, in the main we are an informal group that is quite friendly and welcomes new members. If you come along to our meetings you can join our emailing list to find out more about what we are doing for our community. You will be surprised and able to find out about our planned site visits, such as to Zip World who have kindly offered to help us. So, come along to our next meeting at 1900 on Tuesday the 3rd of September in the Holly Bush Inn. Hope to see you there, and the more the merrier!
Regards, David Metcalfe, Cefn Community Councillor & Dee Valley AONB Champion.
This planning application was put together in 2016 to support our local traders and show the passing traffic at the Tesco Roundabout that our village center was still open for business. Unfortunately the planning application was refused because of objection by WCBC and CCC.Therefore the matter is now being raised once again so that hopefully we can get planning permission for the signage and help our local traders which could even increase job opportunity through increased economic activity.
LTS Planning Application 2.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [5.8 MB]
CMCC - Cefn Mawr Cable Car May Update
Easter Bank Holiday Weekend saw very good weather and exceptional visitor numbers at both Ty Mawr Country Park and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, with car parks full, whilst our village centre remained quiet. Tourism is the only viable option we have of improving the economic prospects of our community and our unique position at the centre of the WHS Corridor between the aqueduct and Cefn Viaduct. Please also consider the extremely high road traffic vehicle counts on the A539, A5 and A483, which is 15.5 million vehicles annually, (three times that of Llangollen). We are on a mainline railway line leading to major cities and airports, Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester and London. The former Shropshire Union Canal (renamed Llangollen in the 1980’s) is one of the busiest canals of the inland waterway network and Offa’s Dyke is one of the most well-trodden long-distance footpaths in the UK. Yet our village centre suffers form a lack of footfall, what is going on????
What is lacking for our community is SIGNAGE and COORDINATED VISITOR MANAGEMENT. With both correctly implemented the economic decline of our community can be reversed, which is the main reason behind all PKG Group Proposals. Our latest for the Ebenezer (as an Arts & Visitor Centre for Cefn), Cable Car and WBG Parking is about ending the segregation of our community from the very lucrative opportunity on our door step. However, unless WCBC and partners join in, we cannot gain access to the very substantial grant funding streams and loan facilities available to make this happen. So, it may be said, “The writing is on the wall” and unless WCBC is willing to work with us, the future economic base and prosperity of our community is being sold off.
Please see Easter Bank Holidat Weekend 2019.
CMCC - Cefn Mawr Cable Car March Update - 2019
We have been pursuing the concept of a cable car system (Red) to link Cefn Mawr Village Centre via the Crane to WBG, Windborne Gateway Parking (yellow) and backed up by Zip Wires (Green). Installation of such a system with the correct road signage and traffic management can increase the visitor count from 330,000 a year at the aqueduct to 500,000. The Cable Car and Zip Wires acting as a Tourist Attraction and Urban Transport system would provide significant foot fall into our village centre where it will be necessary to reopen the Ebenezer as an Arts & Visitor Centre for the Cefn & Cefn Mawr, as you may have seen in the papers.
We cannot tempt tourists onto the Cable Car with the offer of a couple of pints in the Holly Bush Inn! Yes, we have a vested Interest in making this happen. Our pub will only do as well as the community that surrounds it, so the more we can do for our community, the better it will be for our pub. We estimate 30 jobs split between the WBG, Cable Car & Zip Wires and the Ebenezer as an Arts and Visitor Centre for the Cefn & Cefn Mawr at the centre of the Pontcysyllte World Heritage Site (WHS) corridor.
If WCBC & partners will work with us for the inclusion of our community in the WHS to bring tourism on a commercially viable basis to our village centre this will take approximately 2 years to complete. This will give all our local shop keepers time to prepare for a large influx of people which will stimulate growth and economic regeneration, which has currently stalled. With increased business activity in our village centre this will no doubt raise the employment opportunity available in the retail sector, hence more jobs again.
The significant finance for this project will be found through a combination of private investment, bank loans and whatever grant funding we can secure. However, to make all this happen we need WCBC, CRT & partners to work with us for the Economic Regeneration of our community through Sustainable Tourism Development. So, let’s hope they do. We can have a better future if we want it and try for it.
2019 New Year Message
The PKC Group intend to build the Cable Car System originally spoke of six years ago in 2012. We are seeking a loan for this from the Business Development Banc of Wales and have put together a supporting Business Plan. To be successful in securing the required loan it will be necessary for all parties to work with us. The main ones being WCBC, CRT and Eastman Chemicals.
We are taking this step to initiate the regeneration of our community through Sustainable Tourism Development. The general plan is to build a cable car system between the Windborne Gate (WBG) Parking lot and the Crane. We will also install 2 x Zip wires adjacent to the cable car route so that people can enjoy riding both over the former works site. The cable car will be linked to the Ebenezer which we plan to reopen as an Arts & Visitor Centre that will provide display space to the Cefn Community, Museum & Historical Society, Local Schools, Groups, Artists & Artisans etc. as well as the static displays showing off our community and the redevelopment of it. On the second floor will be a display model of the Cefn, for the general idea see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K1UdZXc9DM
The Ebenezer failed for two main reasons, a lack of foot fall and no parking. By linking the WBG to the Ebenezer with the CC system, the problems are solved. There are 330,000 people visiting the aqueduct annually and if only 10% ride the cable car, this still delivers 33,000 tourists onto our streets, enough to keep the Ebenezer busy. Our main problem will be getting WCBC & partners to work with us, but we hope they will come around since this will be the key, they seek and a major boost to the economic future of our community.
We estimate with the addition of the CC & Zip Wires the visitor count will rise to around 400,000 annually and our mean estimate of operation is 20% which will provide the operating costs for the Ebenezer. This means that we will be able to offer the display space to our community. We also intend to run training programs as we originally said in 2012 to work with our young people. This will enable them to work with us and look for work outside our community both on and offshore which we will encourage them to do. To help us do this we will be looking at establishing links with other bodies such as the Princes Trust. We intend to pursue this on behalf of our community and can be successful if the relevant bodies will work with us. If you like this idea you can help, like us on Facebook, it will show WCBC and all that we want this.
The Holly Bush Inn, Established 1800, the oldest pub in Cefn Mawr and home of the Plas Kynaston Canal Group, Cefn Square, Cefn Mawr, Pontcysyllte World Heritage Site, Wrexham, LL14 3AE, Tel 01978 253 447
On the 18th of April 2018 another meeting was held at the Holly Bush Inn for the consultants Arcadis to meet the PKC Group and people from our community. Once again the primary objective from the PKC Group was to try and ensure that our community was being included in ways that would actually work in the thrid round of master planning for WCBC, CRT and Eastmans that Arcadis was working on.
The PKC Group has attended all meetings and consultations held in 2018 for this new round of master planning by Arcadis to try and ensure our community is not left out and ignored again. At these meetings we have been reassured that this will not be the case and we remain hopeful that this comes true so that our community can be turned around and put on the road to economic recovery which is perfectly feasible given our location and the potential we are surrounded with.
The Four Corner Stone Documents for the Cefn
For an outline of how our community at the centre of the Pontcysyllte World Heritage Site can be included and our economy regenerated please see the below documents that are all based on Welsh Planning Policy and the Future Generations Act.
Sustainable Tourism & Economic Development for the Cefn & Cefn Mawr
The Kick Off Meeting 12th January 2017, present members were our local people in the PKC Group, Local Community Council, Local Traders and AVOW. The meeting was about WCBC, CRT & Eastmans who are employing Arcadis Consultants from Cardiff to prepare a third master plan for them. The objective of the meeting at the Holly Bush was to discuss how we could best get our community included in their plans as it had been clearly left out of the two previous master plans by them. With our community immediately next to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and at the centre of the World Heritage Site, there is no good reason why it should rate and remain as one of the highest unemployment areas in NE Wales, unless of course it is left out and ignored again.
A show of hands in the Holly Bush Inn for getting Cefn Mawr back on its feet, 14th January 2017, please note we all want the same thing, we want our village back and we want WCBC and other third parties to work with us. We do not want to be segregated from the WHS corridor any longer. If there is any doubt about our community being segregated please see “Where is Cefn Mawr” which clearly shows how our community has been left out and ignored. This must stop and WCBC needs to start working in accordance with WPP.
The PKC Group organised a Public Consultation for the planned Local Development Plan 2, (LDP2) by Wrexham County Borough Council (WCBC) at the Holy Bush Inn in March 2016. WCBC had not organised one for the local community and so the group helped out and it allowed the group to explain both the LDP2 as being proposed for the Cefn by WCBC and their proposals for incorporation into the LDP2 for the community of Cefn.
The PKC Group had held a number of meetings in 2014 and 2015 leading to the proposals submitted to the WCBC for inclusion into the LDP2 during its term until 2028.
This website is for Cefn, covering Cefn Mawr and Surrounding Villages that are central to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct World Heritage Site along the Llangollen Canal. The villages of Cefn and Cefn Mawr are immediately adjacent to both the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Cefn Viaduct that span the River Dee Valley.
Please send us your input, so we can build a better site and future for us, our children and grandchildren. Have a look and find out about the History, Present, and Plans for the future. Everybody is welcome to the information here on what has happened, is going on or is going to happen and to help out if you want to!
The Plas Kynaston Canal once served the industries of Cefn Mawr that provided employment for local people, but eventually became buried beneath the mighty Monsanto Works in the 1900’s. However those works have now closed and the site is vacant providing the opportunity to reinstate the Plas Kynaston Canal back to Cefn Mawr. This would reconnect Cefn Mawr & Surrounding Villages to the Inland Waterway Network. The Llangollen Canal is the UK’s busiest canal and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct draws over 300,000 tourists annually.
The canal could again bring employment opportunities & prosperity to the area by encouraging tourism into our villages and community, exploring the local industrial heritage of our area.
Plas Kynaston Hall is a Grade II listed building located within the Cefn Mawr conservation area and has been renovated by the Welsh Georgian Trust.
Since the Plas Kynaston Canal, PKC Group was formed in 2010 to promote tourism in the central section of the World Heritage Site on the Llangollen Canal adjacent to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct the PKC Group has received wide and popular support from the general public both locally, nationally and internationally. The PKC Group are putting the villages that lie between the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the Cefn Viaduct along the River Dee and Llangollen Canal on the tourist map.
The PKC Group at the Glydrw University in Wrexham to highlight the potential for reinstating the Plas Kynaston Canal back into Cefn Mawr. The group likes to join in with local events around our community to encourage positive outcomes for Cefn. Although PKC Group is based in Cefn Mawr, it also looks at the wider community such as surrounding Villages of the Cefn, the Pontcysyllte WHS and County of Wrexham. Please check out this website for proof.
The PKC Group continues to be active in the role of seeking the reinstatement of the Plas Kynaston Canal to link Cefn Mawr and the Cefn into the inland waterway network at the centre of the Pontcysyllte World Heritage Site. This news article from 2010 shows a petition of 2000 signatories being handed into the Wrexham County Borough Council. The petition was raised locally in in the Cefn and remains valid. As does all the other work we have done (all of us) since then and we (PKC Group) keep in regular contact with Eastman’s, now the current site owner of the former Monsanto Chemical Works site.
Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for the North Wales Region discussing matters with David Taylor and Steven Hughes about bringing tourism to Cefn Mawr and the PKC Group proposals to bridge the gap between the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct WHS and Cefn Mawr for the betterment of all. Llyr Gruffydd, visited the site in February 2012 for a meeting with the Heritage Minister of the Welsh Assembly Government.
Please note that these forms were in response to the second round of the WCBC Local Development Plan (LDP) Consultation in 2011.They were additional to the 2000 strong petition handed to the WCBC in 2010 by the PKC Group, which had been presented on behalf of our community at the centre of the Pontcysyllte World Heritage Site. The PKC received more support in the LDP than any other nomination for incorporation into the WCBC Local Development Plan.
The PKC Group thanks every one for their support and backing on this. Please remember this is a long term project with significant technical difficulties to overcome in order to achieve the full restoration of the PKC.
Want to see progress, come for a beer in the Holly Bush Inn or check out the Holly Bush Inn Renovation Story, restored in partnership with the THI & WCBC.
We are also proud to work alongside other voluntary groups such as the St Christophers School party clearing Crane Lane in the Cefn and all other local groups we promote on this website. On our website we link these to the national relevant bodies for the preservation and promotion of our local heritage, such as CADW, IWA, National Library of Wales, CRT, National Archives and Visit Wales.
If you want a copy of this home page please just down load this PDF which will print out easily on any home printer, and all the best from the PKC Group.
PKC Home Page 2017.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [3.8 MB]