Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Wrexham (pronounced 'Recsam', and in Welsh spelt Wrecsam) is a town in north Wales. It is in the border region with England, in the traditional county of Denbighshire. It is the main town in the county borough of Wrexham.
The town has 40,000 inhabitants. Wrexham was formerly one of the most industrialised areas in North Wales, with brickworks, steelworks and many coal mines. While all these are now closed, they left their mark. One legacy was the Wrexham area's large and complex network of railways, the main branch being the Wrexham and Minera Branch , which supported the steelworks, the largest village (Coedpoeth ) and the Minera Limeworks . When the rail network was torn up in the 1960s (and the Minera Branch in the early 1970s) Wrexham began a period of depression: the many coal mines closed first, followed by the brickworks and other industries, and finally the steelworks (which had its own railway branch up until closure) in the 1980s. Wrexham faced an economic crisis: with residents anxious to sell their homes and move to areas with better employment prospects, but buyers were uninterested in an area where there was little employment. Many people were caught in a negative equity trap
In the 1980s and 1990s the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) intervened to improve Wrexham's situation: it funded a major dual carriageway bypassing Wrexham and connecting it with Chester and Shrewsbury, which in turn had connections with other big cities; it funded shops and reclaimed areas environmentally damaged by the coal industry. BHS, McDonalds, Game , Burger King, KFC and other major retail chains came to Wrexham, improving the area's employment prospects. The biggest breakthrough was the Wrexham Industrial Estate , home to many manufacturing businesses including Kellogg's. The dual carriageway was extended halfway to the Estate in 2003, and is expected to reach it by 2011.
One of the industries to survive the economic down-turn was the local Brewery producing Wrexham larger, an iconic drink in north Wales despite its rather low strength. However the brewery itself finally closed due to the commercial pressures from multinational brewing conglomerates. The only independent commercial scale breweries left in Wales are now in the south with breweries such as Brains, Buckley's and Felinfoel .
In June 2003, the Caia Park estate in Wrexham was hit by riots, when local youths attacked several Iraqi Kurds living in the area, under the misconception that they had been given preferential treatment due to their status as asylum seekers. Police were brought in to the estate, and petrol bombs and other missiles were hurled at them, causing a major riot. The Caia Park Riots attracted criticism over the handling of local race relations, but the bravery of North Wales Police was praised, peacefully trying to calm down the situation whilst under fire. Since then, much funding has been put into Caia Park, one of the most deprived areas in Wales, but much of the funding has been put into relatively insignificant and minor projects, considered by many to be a waste of money.
Wrexham is now the largest settlement in North Wales and has been nominated for city status several times, so far unsuccessfully. Its newspapers include The Wrexham Mail and The Wrexham Evening Leader, and radio stations MFM 103.4 and Classic Gold Marcher broadcast to the town.
The town has a football team, Wrexham A.F.C., which competes in the Football League. It also serves as the secondary home of the Llanelli Scarlets, one of the four Welsh professional rugby sides that compete in the Celtic League.
Wrexham's main church, dedicated to St Giles, includes a colourful ceiling of flying musical angels, two early eagle lecterns, a Burne-Jones window, the Royal Welch Fusiliers chapel and the tomb of Elihu Yale, after whom Yale College Wrexham is named, and benefactor of Connecticut's Yale University. Its tower is one of the 'Seven Wonders of Wales'.
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