THE people behind a multi-million pound scheme to build a huge dragon tower near Wrexham have been given the go-ahead to develop a business case for the project.

Members of Wrexham Council’s executive board yesterday agreed to grant an option on the local authority land at Chirk Park to the Frank Wingett Cancer Appeal, which is responsible for the ambitious plans.

It means members of the appeal can now go away and put together a business plan before coming back with an offer to Wrexham Council for the land.

The mooted structure, which could cost up to £9 million according to Wrexham Council, is the brainchild of auctioneer Simon Wingett, who has set up the Frank Wingett Cancer Appeal to take a lead on the project.

The 200ft high creation, located on land off the A5 at Halton Roundabout, would house an art gallery, 100-seat cafe bar, 125-seat restaurant and space for language study. It is estimated about 70 jobs could be created.

Cllr Mike Morris, speaking at the executive board meeting, said the local authority should examine a number of options for the land before deciding who to sell it to.

He said: “We’ve got to satisfy ourselves that the whole project can be delivered.

“What happens if a scenario arises where certain parts are built and they don’t have the money to build the tower? All those safeguards must be put in place.”

Council officers gave assurances that, as part of the business plan, the appeal would have to demonstrate that funding was in place.  If this was demonstrated, and the business plan and planning permission approved, a building licence would then permit construction of the development.

The council’s chief economic development officer, Steven Bayley, said no public money would be used to fund the scheme.