Councillors in Wrexham to support £400,000 market upgrade plans

Published date: 17 July 2017 |
Published by: Steve Craddock 
Read more articles by Steve Craddock  Email reporter


COUNCILLORS are expected to support plans for more than £400,000 of improvements to a pair of town centre markets.

A report to the council’s employment, business and investment scrutiny committee – which will meet tomorrow – outlines a revised strategic action management plan (SAMP) which proposes a raft of enhancements at the town’s grade II listed General Market and Butchers Market, as well as associated shops, over the next five years.

Among the outlined works at the Butchers Market are improved access, extensive works to improve the high street frontage and repairing the market’s historic clock in 2017/18, cleaning or replacing stall canopies and upgrading the roof within two to three years and renewing the floor within three to four years, among others.

Works outlined for the General Market include repairing the glass roof and improving the entrance from Chester Street and Henblas Street within two to three years and renewing the floor within three to four years.

The plan also proposes to install wi-fi and upgrade traders toilets at both markets in 2017/18.

The report states: “The condition reports concluded, to comprehensively refurbish the property to an overall standard that would be considered excellent over the next five years is currently estimated, in the region of £128,000 for the General Market and £290,000 for the Butchers Market.

“To enhance the vibrancy and attractiveness of the markets it will be important to continue to improve not only the mechanical and electrical works as identified by the condition surveys, but also the cosmetic appearance of the properties to make them more attractive for shoppers and other market users.”

Longer term plans to be undertaken within three to four years – which are not specified to either market in the report – include upgrading CCTV, replacing or refurbishing all stalls and a comprehensive electrical upgrade.

According to the plan three actions have already been achieved: refurbishment of two key stalls at the Butchers Market, the installation of a new fire alarm system at both markets and repairs to walls and flooring in the Butchers Market café.

The document states, however, that the upcoming proposed enhancements are “subject to securing the appropriate funding and managing the current proposed income figures”.

The action plan outlines some of the works would be funded by rental income, while some would be covered by “potential external regeneration funding”.

In its conclusion, the report states: “The intention is to fully utilise and re-invest any surplus into delivering a programme of improvements. There will, however, need to be a continued emphasis on securing external funding to fund any costly improvements beyond the general repair and maintenance.

“This year’s activities are already being developed and preparatory works such as the surveys and drawings that are currently being produced to obtain listed building consent for enhancements and improvements to the High Street elevation of the Butchers Market will enable us to secure funding if it becomes available.

“The Henblas area lies at the heart of the town centre physically and is central to the delivery of the Town Centre Vision and Masterplan, specifically underpinning it as a destination.

The report recommends committee members comment on the progress as well as supporting the revised action plan.

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