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Wrexham Glyndŵr University Enterprise Engineering and Optics Centre is closer to Securing Growth Deal funding


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Following an outline business case approval by the North Wales Economic Ambition Board, the Wrexham Glyndŵr University Enterprise Engineering and Optics Centre (EEOC) is closer to securing Growth Deal funding.

In this exclusive interview feature, Professor Aulay Mackenzie, Pro Vice-Chancellor at Wrexham Glyndwr University and Programme Manager at Ambition North Wales, Robyn Lovelock spoke with Business News Wales about the Deal and the opportunity it could open for the wider region.

The project will be delivered across two University sites, St Asaph and Plas Coch in Wrexham. The aim is to help manufacturing businesses in the region to decarbonise. It will explore the integrated use of optics, photonics and composites as alternative, lighter-weight solutions with applications across all specialisms of manufacturing.

The urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and waste from manufacturing businesses is well-known, as are the potential benefits such as cost and efficiency savings. However, ever-changing technology and countless options can be daunting for many businesses. The Enterprise Engineering and Optics Centre aims to bridge the gap by providing facilities and researchers from the University to work with businesses to explore solutions.

The next step will be for the project to deliver a full business case, which will enable work to begin on the Centre. The aim is to start construction towards the end of 2023, with an opening date estimated for 2025.


From a rich history to a bright future for education in North Wales – Wrexham Glyndwr University gives each student’s learning and future personal attention.

We’ve been delivering education at our main Wrexham campus since 1887, when we were known as the Wrexham School of Science and Art. We first started offering degrees in 1924 but we’ve come a long way since then.

We became Denbighsire Technical Institute in 1927, moving to Regent Street, now home to our creative arts courses. As the Institute and demand for courses grew, the development of what is now our main Plas Coch campus began and the Denbighshire Technical College was born in 1939.

Sir Patrick Abercromby, the famous Liverpool-Dublin architect, was responsible for the internal design of the College, which featured in a number of Architecture magazines in the early 1950s. Peggy Angus was commissioned to design suitable tiles for the main foyer. These were unique to the College and represent a flow of learning with a Welsh background. These tiles are still in place today and are protected as a Grade II listing.

It soon became necessary to merge the three main colleges of the County of Clwyd: Denbighshire Technical College, Cartrefle Teacher Training College (situated at the other end of Wrexham) and Kelsterton College in Connah’s Quay near Chester.

The resulting North East Wales Institute of Higher Education (NEWI) became one of the largest colleges of its kind in Britain with over 9,000 students and an annual budget in 1975 of £5 million.

The College grew both in the number of students and in reputation as its expertise became sought after throughout the world.

In 2008, NEWI gained university status and Glyndwr University was born.


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