A TOTAL of 1,000 jobs have been created since a new shopping centre opened 18 months ago, says Wrexham’s town centre manager.

Isobel Watson says the opening of Eagles Meadow created extra retail capacity enabling other business to come to Wrexham and existing stores to move to larger premises.

A new Sportdirect.com store will open at the complex this Saturday, creating a further 30 jobs.

Earlier this week retailer QD opened a store at the former Marks and Spencer premises on hope street, with 28 new posts.

Ms Watson said: “We have lots of good news in Wrexham at the moment. It’s a very exciting period.

“Everyone that is relocating is going to larger, better premises creating opportunities for smaller businesses to take the smaller premises. Under the circumstances Wrexham has fared extremely well in the recession.

“We have weathered the storm so much better than so many other towns and cities.

“Since Eagles Meadow opened 18 months ago, there has been a net increase of 1,000 full-time and part-time retail jobs in Wrexham – and we’re still growing.

“To do that during a period of recession is nothing short of remarkable and of course many of the jobs suit people looking for part-time positions and flexible hours.

Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley said: “Wrexham has a strong and loyal catchment area and there was real demand for more space from retailers which is why we have seen so many move into Eagles Meadow and increase their floorspace in modern, purpose-built units.

“Eagles Meadow complements the retail offer of the town as a whole by providing extra space.

“Major stores like Marks and Spencer, River Island and Next have doubled their retail areas while Wallis and Top Shop now occupy fives times the area they once did.

“That has prevented those shops moving out of town and at the same time has created space for new retailers and the evidence is that space in the town centre is being filled as well with the likes of Peacocks opening a new shop.

“We have also been able to add Debenhams to the town and this would have been impractical without Eagles Meadow.”