CALLS have been made for a derelict Wrexham school to be turned into a training centre for doctors and nurses.

There is currently uncertainty over the future of the Groves School site in the town centre, which garnered national media attention last year when a group of homeless people set up camp there.

In September Wrexham Council said it wanted to build a new school on the land, despite being prevented from demolishing the old building which was granted listed status by Cadw following a battle by local campaigners.

However, councillors say a feasibility study on the site’s future has been constantly delayed, and one has now called for it to be turned into a medical training facility.

Cllr Barrie Warburton said he is asked about the school on a weekly basis by curious residents, and now wants clarity from the authority on its plans.

He said: “I have people stopping me on a regular basis asking me what’s happening to the Groves and I haven’t got an answer for them.

“People don’t want it to be turned into flats or houses and I don’t think it can be, so I’d like to see a medical training facility for doctors and nurses.

“It would suit the environment and the place. We need as many as doctors and nurses as we can get and there’s a site there to put it on, I’m sure it would be a huge success.

“I’ve been on the committee for a year now and they keep saying there’s going to be a report on the Groves to be brought to be scrutinised, but every time it’s due they’re waiting for another report on it. It’s a big part of Wrexham that’s standing idle.”

A report on plans for the site was due to be debated at a meeting of the authority’s Customers, Performance, Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday (27 June 2018).

However, it was delayed until its September meeting with the report not expected to be completed until the end of July, and the committee not sitting in August.

Support officer Craig Stevens said: “Members will note that this meeting was due to consider a report in respect of the future use of The Groves.

“This has been delayed as the feasibility study in respect of the Groves is now expected to be completed by the end of July following the education department identifying some further considerations to inform decisions.

“Due to this, it is likely to be early autumn before the report is available for consideration.”

Between 2005, when the school was closed, and 2017 the empty site has cost the council £1.1m.

Before they were listed, the authority originally agreed proposals to bulldoze the old Groves buildings and create two new schools on the site.

Funding for any new school would form part of a £36m council programme to regenerate Wrexham’s schools between 2019-2024.