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Wrexham Glyndwr University Logo
WGU ten years
Regent Street

Our history

This year we are celebrating reaching the milestone of our tenth anniversary and to many we are still seen as a 'young' university, however that doesn't mean that we have a short history.


We haven't quite lied about our age, but our forerunner - the Wrexham School of Science and Art, which later transformed into the Denbighshire Technical Institute early in the 20th Century, was actually established in 1881.  The site of this former institute was our building on Regent Street, now standing proud as the School of Creative Arts.

Denbighshire Technical Institute


With the demand for education and technical training ever increasing, demand began to outstrip capacity at Regent Street and soon there would be a need for a purpose-built campus on the edge of town. So started the journey of our Plas Coch campus, with William Aston Hall as its centrepiece, and was officially opened by the Duchess of Gloucester in 1953. 

William Aston Hall opening


Over the years, many programmes were added to the portfolio of the college, such as engineering and manufacturing to reflect the industrial development of the region. In 1975 the North-East Wales Institute of Higher Education (NEWI) was formed, bringing the campus into a new era.


The Plas Coch campus has already celebrated a milestone anniversary when it reached 50 years back in 2003. The event was marked with an official visit from Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth II

In 2004, NEWI was admitted as a full member to the University of Wales, the validating body for most universities within Wales.  However, this paved the way for the institute to seek its own degree-awarding powers and eventually university status.  

It was a challenging process, but on 18th July 2008 the good news was announced. NEWI had been successful in becoming a University.  Students were now able to enrol with Glyndwr University - the name inspired by Welsh hero and scholar, Owain Glyndwr - a staunch supporter of education in Wales.

More recently, the name of our university has been modified to Wrexham Glyndwr - a small change maybe, but one that reflects the importance of our place within the local community and wider region.

Find out more about the history of Wrexham Glyndwr University by downloading our 10 Year Anniversary Guide.