An artists' impression of the new football museum for Wales ©Haley Sharp Design hsd

The Welsh Government has voted to provide £5.4 million ($6.57 million/€6.14 million) towards a national football museum.

The museum is set to be established in Wrexham in North Wales.

"Wrexham is the birthplace of Welsh football so it's the ideal location to celebrate the sport's heritage," Deputy Minister for Arts and Sports Dawn Bowden said.

Wrexham has been chosen as the preferred location because Wrexham Association Football Club, founded in 1864, is the oldest professional club in the country and the Football Association of Wales was also founded in the town in 1876.

"We have seen many successes, especially in recent years, in men's and women's football, and ensuring the dramatic and emotive events on the international stage, the history and development of club football in Wales and the spirit and diversity of the Welsh football community is told in one place will be vital for present and future generations," Bowden added.

The development of the new football museum is part of a wider project that will see an expansion of the current Wrexham Museum building.

It has already been dubbed a "museum of two halves".

Actor Ryan Reynolds became co-owner of Wrexham Football Club in 2020 ©Getty Images
Actor Ryan Reynolds became co-owner of Wrexham Football Club in 2020 ©Getty Images

"This is a really exciting project as football plays such a large part in our culture and identity and the people of Wrexham and across Wales can now be assured that the Welsh football collection will be preserved for present and future generations in Wales," Wrexham County Borough Council partnerships and community safety leader Paul Roberts said.

Wrexham have won the Welsh Cup on a record 23 occasions and are currently four points clear at the top of the National League and could be on course for a return to the Football League for the first time since 2008.

The club was taken over by Hollywood actors Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds in 2020.

Wales reached the FIFA World Cup quarter-finals in 1958 before losing to a Brazilian side inspired by Pelé.

With Gareth Bale in their ranks, they reached the last-four of the 2016 European Championships and also qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals, but did not advance from the group stages after losing to Iran and England.