A MAJOR vacant town centre store has been brought back to life thanks to the arrival of a science hub.

Techniquest Glynd?r has opened the doors for the first time at its new temporary town centre base in Henblas Square and Chester Street in the premises previously occupied by the former TJ Hughes department store.

After seven years of the building lying empty it has been brought to life with an opening featuring a mixture of science demonstrations, continuous shows in the science centre’s portable planetarium, performances by local street musicians and dance group Dancing Shoes.

With colourful and lively window designs commissioned to decorate the various large windows facing the town centre streets they added extra interest to what had become a neglected part of the town centre.

The designs replaced the previous window advertising from TJ Hughes which was more than seven-years-old.

Scot Owen, education manager at Techniquest Glynd?r said: “Ever since we had finally concluded negotiations for a 12 month lease on the building in February we had been on a race against time to meet the deadline of the community celebration on April 2 and have our building ready for the public to come and visit.

"We had to thoroughly clean the ground floor of the building since it had lain empty for a number of years and in order to brighten the street aspect we had a number of specially designed themes made for the prominent window areas facing Henblas Square and Chester Street.

"Whilst we do not have the capacity or funding to keep the town centre premises open on a continuous basis over the next year we will be opening up our new centre on approximately every month in order to coincide with street festivals and other special events taking place in the surrounding streets."

He added: “We have had magnificent support so far for our plans and we are hoping our continued presence in the town centre will help to re-vitalise not only the town centre and the businesses situated there, but also become another reason for people to start visiting the town centre again.

"Through our presence in the town centre we are hoping we will be able to engage with a much wider audience than at our existing centre on the Glynd?r University campus in Plas Coch. And we want to increase awareness of our intention to acquire sufficient funding to purchase and convert the building into an enlarged and more prominent science centre and to move our operations to the heart of the town.

"We hear the outcome of a major bid for funding in July this year, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that we have made a strong case to receive the funding we need to not only help our charity but also help with the regeneration of Wrexham town centre.”

To support its work Techniquest Glynd?r is particularly keen to engage with local companies who have aspects of their business related to science, technology or engineering.

They are keen to help make the science of the classroom come alive by linking real life situations which demonstrate various scientific principles.

Links can be through sponsorship of outreach visits to schools in particular areas, the offer of on-site visits to industrial operations or collaboration in the development of additional interactive exhibits to augment the 65 or more examples currently at the centre.