A LONG-awaited road project has been given the green light on what council leaders have hailed as a ‘great day for Wrexham’.

The £20million link roads for Wrexham Industrial Estate are set to go ahead after the Assembly government said work could start.

Wrexham Council’s leader said the move would help safeguard about 8,000 jobs on the massive industrial and commercial complex as well as providing a springboard to create fresh employment on the site.

In a joint statement council leader Cllr Aled Roberts and lead member for transport, Cllr David Bithell, said: “We are thrilled the industrial estate will at last be given the improved access it desperately needs.

“This will give a much-needed boost to one of the largest industrial estates in Europe, making its businesses more competitive.

“It will open up the door to expansion and make the estate more attractive to new businesses.

“This, in turn, should secure existing jobs and create new opportunities for employment.

“The scheme will also improve the local environment and make local roads safer.

“This is a great day for Wrexham.”

In a separate comment Cllr Bithell said: “I am so pleased the Assembly government has expressed its confidence in Wrexham and in the industrial estate in particular through its continued funding of the scheme, and I want to record my thanks.”

The council had been anxiously waiting final confirmation from Cardiff since last October’s public inquiry into compulsory purchase orders and side road orders needed for each of the northern and southern access roads which make up the scheme.

Earlier in the year the Welsh Assembly government had confirmed its commitment to continuing funding for the development of the scheme through the 2010/11 financial year.

Contractors wishing to bid for the work have already been invited to express their interest and this will result in the selection of a shortlist in June.

Main construction is scheduled to start in spring, 2011 with the new roads being open to traffic in the summer of 2012.

The council said advanced work would start in late summer to protect the habitats of wildlife, to install fencing and to clear the site.

It is also hoped that the diversion of some public utilities’ apparatus will take place this year to clear the way for the main contract.