A SHOP that has remained derelict for more than a decade could be purchased by an unlikely investor - the church.

The former Burton store on the corner of Hope Street and High Street in Wrexham town centre could be snapped up by St. Giles Church just over the road.

Plans for the building, which has remained empty since 2008, are to create a new ‘Christian Community’, and councillors and business owners alike have welcomed the news.

At the Wrexham Town Centre Conservation Area Character Assessment and Management Plan meeting, held on Thursday, February, 7, the issue of the unused store was mentioned by council officials.

“The former Burtons at the junction of Hope Street and High Street is particularly detrimental in key views to and from the church.

“The current condition with boarded up windows is visually poor and interim measures could be taken to improve this situation.”

Coincidentally, it appears the strategy of The Church of Wales to tackle the ‘detriment of key views’ is to purchase the building themselves.

A spokesperson for The Diocese of St. Asaph has told The Leader: “The Diocese of St Asaph can confirm that its Board of Finance is in discussions to buy 1, Hope Street in Wrexham, the old Burton’s store.

“The purchase of the building is part of exciting plans to develop a new kind of Christian community within the Church in Wales, in partnership with existing churches.

“As the sale is not yet finalised and further funding is not yet confirmed, we will be providing more details in due course.”

Alex Jones, manager of Plat Bach just around the corner in Ty Pawb, has expressed his delight over the potential purchase, saying something should have been done with the building years ago.

“It’s a mess, let’s be honest.

“It’s been left for years and years, I believe it was owned by the Arcadia Group before.

“Whatever it gets used for now, I’m just glad that it will be back in use. It could be great for the town centre if used for something good.”

Councillor Terry Evans, Lead Member for Economy, Economic Development and Regeneration for Wrexham Borough County Council, has shared similar thoughts, citing that the store is well-placed to contribute to the growth of Wrexham.

“It’s been an eyesore for years, but I’m very glad that it’s been bought, and I hope plans are in place to do something with it soon.

“The great thing about it is that it’s in such a prominent place, perfectly located at the bottom of the High Street.

“I’m sure it will be a great help to the regeneration of the town.”