PLANS for housing in Wrexham town centre could become a reality if the council can secure a Welsh Government grant.
The Welsh Government’s regeneration framework, Vibrant and Viable Places, was launched at the Senedd in March and Wrexham Council has been successful in the first round of bidding for a regeneration grant for the town centre.
Speaking at the Wrexham Town Centre Forum yesterday, council leader Neil Rogers said a second bid will now be lodged by the local authority which will detail plans for increased housing provision and residential properties in the town centre.
The second bid must be lodged by November 25 to stand a chance of Wrexham being chosen by the Welsh Government for funding.
Isobel Garner, Wrexham Council town centre manager, said that nine local authorities originally put in a bid for the Vibrant and Viable Places scheme and she was able to confirm that one of the projects earmarked for the Wrexham plan is for the council to consider a masterplan of the town centre.
Chairman of the forum, Kevin Critchley, manager of Eagles Meadow, said the retail sector in the town centre was expecting a struggle over the coming years and the council’s grant bid was welcomed.
He said: “The predictions being made in the retail sector forecast are that small town retail is expected to suffer over the next few years with out-of-town places such as Cheshire Oaks and the Trafford Centre anticipated to do well.
“It’s important we do something about it. Why couldn’t we have a cafe culture? I’d love to see people drinking coffee on a Saturday morning in the town centre.
“We have got to face up to the demands of people and what they want in their town centre.
“It is great that the council is getting ahead of the game with this bid and trying to react to what are challenging times for the town centre.”