AMBITIOUS plans to transform a disused council headquarters in Chirk into a thriving community centre have taken a major step forward.

The former estate office in Castle Road has been empty for the past five years since responsibility for overseeing the running of council homes in the area was transferred to another base in Plas Madoc.

Wrexham Council originally wanted to sell off the three-storey Victorian building but then local group Glyn Wylfa Development Trust came forward with a scheme to turn it into a community facility in the heart of Chirk.

At their meeting on Tuesday, members of the council’s executive board will consider a report detailing how the group’s first phase application for cash assistance with the project from the Community Transfer Asset Fund has been successful.

The fund has been set up by the Welsh Government and the Big Lottery Fund with assets of £13 million to help community groups acquire public buildings and develop them to suit their needs.

The successful first round application will give Glyn Wylfa £32,000 to enable them to progress the scheme to the next phase of the process in January.

Glyn Wylfa will also be seeking a loan of £18,000 from the council to help with the scheme and permission to lease the building at a small annual rent.

Council leader, Cllr Ron Davies, said: “When we closed the office we were planning to sell off the building but then they decided not to sell it and allow it to be developed by the people of Chirk.

“Members of the executive board will hopefully be prepared to loan the group some money to kick-start the refurbishment of the building.”