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Big names on site at £5.2m clocktower revamp as basement works underway

THE redevelopment of a beloved North Wales landmark received towering support from leading names in construction, safety, and engineering.

Travis Perkins builders’ merchants, global fire alarms business Aico, City Electrical Factors (CEF Ltd) and Clwyd Alyn Housing are among the organisations on site this week at the Grade II-listed John Summers Clock Tower in Deeside, which is undergoing a major £5.2m revamp.

Their workers have been busy painting and renovating the basement, which will open later this year and include a traditional skills centre, community meeting spaces, Virtual Reality (VR) and escape rooms, training facilities, hot desks, and flexible business support services.

Enbarr Foundation director Vicki Roskams is leading a team of ‘Guardians’ determined to return the historic former Tata Steel HQ to its past glory.

She said: “We are so grateful to these amazing companies for gifting materials and their time to help us.

“They will be here all week and have already made a great start on the basement, which is the first phase of the building we will open to the public in the autumn.

“It’s a work in progress but coming to fruition because of the kindness and dedication of people like them, so we are very grateful and hope to see even more businesses get behind us and this epic long-term project.”

The ‘Guardians’ will host another community fair on September 17, featuring live bands, games, and activities for all the family, with proceeds going towards their campaign.

They are also celebrating yet another award, having recently achieved Gold in the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme.

Since January, around 400 local school pupils have toured the site and with more and more volunteers joining their ranks, Vicki is positive they will realise their vision to not only save the iconic structure but raise awareness of how nature and heritage can be utilised to combat socio-economic and demographic concerns, including climate change.

“It has been an amazing year and we continue to make positive steps forward thanks to the support of the public, Tata Steel and many other local and national organisations,” she said.

“We have big plans for the building and through a recent Queen’s Jubilee competition received a lot of fantastic ideas for the gardens, so the next few months look like they’ll be busier than ever, and it’s always busy here!”

Vicki added: “The basement windows have been installed and the doors are being refurbished by learners at Coleg Cambria, so the work taking place over the coming days will help build momentum.

“From the foundations upwards, we will continue to work hard and are committed to unveiling a facility the people of Deeside and beyond can be proud of for generations to come.”

To support the project, email [email protected] or visit the Guardians of the Clock Tower Facebook page.