A councillor has pleaded for Wrexham Council to help him turn a former chapel into a vital part of his community.

Cefn and Cefn Mawr Community Councillor David Metcalfe has told the Leader they have offered £200,000 for the Ebenezer Chapel, double the guide price, in order to secure the building for the local area.

Mr Metcalfe also revealed the offer came after an initial bid of £100,000, but the council is insisting on the Ebenezer being dealt with by an auctioneer.

He said: “The whole thing is a shambles. They say they want to celebrate 10 years of the World Heritage Site but it’s nonsense.

“We have consistently tried to work with Wrexham County Borough Council over the past 10 years to address problems and make the Ebenezer a viable option, but they have refused and opposed all attempts to date.

“This has included ignoring our proposals for the Plas Kynaston Canal from 2010 onwards, refusing planning permission for Windborne Gate Parking and Cable Car System in 2012, rejection of our business plan to reopen the Ebenezer in 2015 and now the current opposition to our renewed initiative for a cable car system to link the aqueduct to our village centre.”

Plans for The Ebenezer Chapel, should Cefn and Cefn Mawr Community Council secure the ownership of the building, include turning it into an Arts and Crafts Centre, as well as Tourist Information centre that will be, “key to the regeneration of the village” according to Mr Metcalfe.

The former Ebenezer Chapel was expected to be a beacon of regeneration in the village when it was refurbished back in 2007.

However, despite attempts to generate business and community interest, the building closed in 2013 and has remained vacant for the last six years.

Mr Metcalfe believes if he can secure the building, then plans are in place to help regenerate the local area.

“The Ebenezer has failed for two main reasons, a lack of parking and a lack of footfall.

“Our current proposal will address both main reasons for failure of the Ebenezer, by linking in a large capacity car park, 300 slots and lifting an estimated 10-30 per cent of the visitor count to the aqueduct into our village, this will supply the required footfall and parking capacity.”

In a statement on Wrexham Council’s website, Steve Bayley, head of housing and economy at Wrexham Council, said: “When selling the building, we have a duty to secure the best price where possible. With that in mind, we decided to auction the chapel. This was expected to be completed on Tuesday, February 19.

“However, we have been listening to the concerns of the local community, and one of the issues which came through clearly was the concern that the building could be sold and then put to use in a way which [would] not help the future regeneration of the village.

“To try to address this concern – but at the same time still secure a fair price for the building – we have asked the auctioneer to ask for proposed uses and best offers for the building by Thursday, February 21, instead of putting the building before a public auction.

“While we are not obliged to accept any of the offers we receive, this will allow us to consider a range of proposals for the use of the building and ensure that it achieves a fair price.

“This also allows us to work with the National Heritage Lottery fund, which co-funded some of the original repair works to Ebenezer Chapel, to see if they can help us to determine the most productive use for the building before deciding whether or not to accept any of the offers.”

Wrexham Council did not wish to comment further when approached by the Leader.

Mr Metcalfe added: “I am begging Wrexham County Borough Council, begging with £200,000 to work with us.

“There is no point of us buying this building if they leave us stranded, it will cost about £85,000 a year to run, tourist information centres don’t make money.

“We need them to help us fund it, and we know it isn’t going to work without them.

“Please be assured we sincerely want to work with WCBC simply because to be successful we must work as a team.

“Unless we start to work together for Sustainable Tourism Development that ends the segregation of our community from the World Heritage Site, the state of affairs is only going to deteriorate further.”