A BID to make Newtown a Welsh footballing mecca has begun.
Newtown and Llanllwchairarn Town Council has sent a submission to the Welsh Government that the town should be included in feasibility studies being done to find a home for the museum.
The submission gives an outline as to why Newtown fits the bill, both as a destination and from a historical football context.
Newtown’s credentials as a destination includes the proposed Mid Wales growth deal, that could see the UK and Welsh Governments work together to “create jobs and opportunities across the region”.
Part of this, according to to the proposal, is that 121 acres of land due to be handed over to the town council from Powys County Council could be a place to build the museum.
Town council clerk, Ed Humphreys, says in the submission: “To achieve that, it is working in partnership with several other bodies for the management and use of the land and has formed a consortium to bid for £1.1 million of grant funding from the Big Lottery Fund.”
The consortium includes Newtown Association Football Club.
Mr Humphreys continues: “The town council and the consortium are well placed to provide land to site a museum and it would sit most comfortably with the council’s desire for Newtown to become a ‘destination town’.”
The submission also outlines a case based on football pedigree.
The club was founded in 1875, is one of the oldest in Wales and was a founder member of the Welsh FA.
It is also one of the founder members of the League of Wales which has now become the Welsh premier league and has been a loyal member since its inception in 1992.
The facilities at Newtown FC’s Latham Park home are often used as a suitable venue for Wales meetings.
Also – officially speaking Newtown is “zoned in North Wales,” which is seen as a must for locating the museum away from Cardiff and South Wales.
This means that if the museum had to be given a home in the north, Newtown in a football sense is in the region.
Mr Humphreys added: “As the location of one of the oldest clubs in Wales – a club that has had a continuous existence and loyal presence in the Welsh Leagues – the town council is of the view that Newtown would be an excellent place to site a Football Museum.”
“Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council is of the view that there is a strong strategic case for regeneration and growth of Mid Wales through investment.”
“Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Cuncil is also of the view that there is a strong case for historical, current and future footballing reasons to locate a National Football Museum for Wales in Newtown.”