Feasibility study into future of former Groves school in Wrexham 'turned down' by council

Reporter:

Steve Craddock

REQUESTS for an independent feasibility study into the future of a former Wrexham school site have been rejected.

According to Elaine Thomas of Save Our Heritage (SOH), which is now a registered community interest company, she and her team have been focusing on obtaining funding for an independent feasibility study into the Groves.

The company has been in discussion with the Architectural Heritage Fund which is willing to provide funding for an initial project viability study which is a first stage feasibility study, a SOH spokesman said, but on the condition that Wrexham Council gave access to an independent surveyor for the purpose of the study.

Elaine Thomas, writing in Wrexham Area Civic Society’s In Focus magazine, states: “It was hoped that this would have opened up positive discussions with Wrexham Council about the future of the building and the sympathetic renovation and reuse of the abundant facilities within its walls.

“However the most recent development is that the response to SOH’s request to move forward, to get the feasibility study underway at little or no cost to Wrexham, has been turned down by the council.

“The details are unclear and evidence as to their intentions is sparse.”

Speaking about the condition of the site, she adds in the article: “The grounds have undergone an extensive clean-up operation. Presumably this is in line with the council’s obligations regarding the grade II listed status.”

Cllr Phil Wynn, lead member for education, said: “Our reply to the Save Our Heritage group noted recent efforts to secure the former Groves site, pending a decision as to its future use.

“It also notes that the council has been considering the future of the site and proposes commissioning a feasibility study in the near future.

“I have already stated publicly that once we are in receipt of a detailed response off the Welsh Government to our 21st century Band B SOP submission, then – assuming a favourable outcome – we would proceed with the commissioning of said feasibility study to ascertain the suitability of the Groves site, and the existing listed structure, to accommodate primary school provision.

“The council, as landowner, would have to obtain reports from its own appointed experts before determining the future of the site and the building.”

Email:

steve.craddock@nwn.co.uk

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