WREXHAM is on the brink of a ‘domino effect’ that will see a boost in the fortunes of its industrial estate and town centre.
That is the view of Wrexham’s new MP who says there are several regeneration projects in the works that will feed off each other to bring people and investment back into the area.
Speaking to the Leader after becoming both Wrexham’s first woman and Conservative MP, Sarah Atherton said that the future was looking positive for Wrexham.
She said: “I think there is a renewed sense of optimism since the election, I think it’s palpable.”
“I think collectively, something will happen and there will be a domino effect and you’ll see an improvement.
“That’s great, and I’m going to support all that as much as I can, and I’m going to support extra footfall in here. I wanted free after three parking reintroduced, and I’m really pleased that the council did free after 2pm parking.
“We need to just start doing these things and it will all fall into place like a jigsaw, but we’ve got to get people coming back in.”
Three businesses are looking to expand on the industrial estate
Mrs Atherton added: “There’s a planning application at the moment for Chapter Court, about regenerating around Queen’s Square and Argyle Street. That’s really good, it’s the sort of thing we are looking at. Techniquest is coming into the town centre. I’ve been approached by three big businesses in Wrexham on the industrial estate looking to expand, looking at ways. I know of a couple of bars and restaurants that are planning to expand in Wrexham.
“It’s just all feeling like it’s a very good time.”
The proposed Chapter Court development and the rise in small, bespoke businesses are some of the reasons to be optimistic about the area’s fortunes, she said, adding: “We’ve got Iceland and Eagles Meadow, and then you’ve got this tract with empty units in. I think Chapter Court is going to at least regenerate that side of it.”
The Chapter Court scheme, due to be considered by Wrexham Council soon, would see a mixture of stores and restaurants established on the ground floor with offices and bars above them.
The development would be focused around a courtyard area set up behind Wrexham Enterprise Hub to host outdoor events.
In a planning statement, agents acting on behalf of TBE (Southern) Limited said: “The applicant site has seen a down turn in recent years, with lots of retailers moving out of the area to the new Eagles Meadow shopping complex in another area of the town.
“This area also competes with other retail parks near to town which offer customers the convenience of free parking, longer opening hours and shops all-under one roof.
“Chapter Court aims to attract national high street retailers back to the original end of town, but also attract smaller, more independent local businesses to create a micro retailing hub for Wrexham.
“Along with go-to places to eat and drink and with the development of the court yard that can host year round events will offer customers a new, cultural shopping and leisure experience giving them a reason for return visits.
“Our vision is to establish the town centre as a thriving destination by encouraging a wider diversity of uses.”
Mrs Atherton said she believed Chapter Court’s micro-retailing hub was key and would encourage small business growth, the type of businesses that are already starting to blossom in the town.
She pointed to small businesses, like the Magic Dragon brewery, which she hoped to visit soon, adding: “I like an ale myself”.
She said: “There’s a bit about having these bespoke quirky sort of businesses.
“They [Chapter Court developers] have got a multi-use leisure facility and it’s going to have micro retail units where people can come and set up their stall. All bespoke, quirky, unique, individual small scale businesses that can come in and set up their wares.”
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