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New businesses breathe fire at Wrexham complex.

A SHOPPING centre is helping the Welsh dragon breathe fire.

Poplars Forge, which makes dramatic metal dragon sculptures, was one of nine creative businesses given a showcase at the Eagles Meadow shopping centre in Wrexham.

Proprietor Steve Gillard hopes his dragons will literally breathe fire one day. His ambition is for them to be used as vents to burn off excess gas at landfill sites across Wales.

The companies took over a unit at the centre for a day in an event organised as part of the Wrexham Year of Culture.

Also among them were jewellers, artists, a photographer and a company that makes garden products.

According to Wrexham County Council's business development officer Liz Wallens the event was a huge success.

She said: "We are very grateful to the management of Eagles Meadow for sponsoring the event and allowing us the free use of the unit.

"It has allowed smaller enterprises to showcase some of their work, all of which is produced locally, and raise awareness of some of the fantastic products they have on offer.

"Wrexham as a place is known for its industrial and business achievements over more than two centuries and this was a chance to highlight a very different aspect of modern life here in the town."

Poplars Forge, based on the Pinfold Industrial Estate at Buckley, used the event as an opportunity to showcase some of their bespoke iron work designs.

Proprietor Steve Gillard said: "I first saw an iron dragon about four years ago at a show in Burnley and thought I could do a better job.

"I have ambition to see a one of our dragons used on refuse tips right across Wales as vents. That way we can have our dragons actually breathing fire, and as the vented gas goes to the atmosphere anyway, there is no difference to the environment."

"I am pleased with how the business is steadily growing, and I have also accepted commissions from Liverpool One and Mold's Theatr Cymru. The event has been an excellent way of promoting our work."


Steven Gillard (left) and Stuart Wilson of Poplars Forge in Buckley with Liz Wallens
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 1, 2011
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