CEFN Community Councillor Dave Metcalfe has unveiled his ambitious plans for Cefn Mawr following a bid for The Ebenezer Chapel.

Cllr Metcalfe, who also owns The Holly Bush Inn pub in Cefn Mawr, told the Leader that the Plas Kynaston Canal Group have offered £200,000 for The Ebenezer Chapel, double the guide price, in order to secure the building for the good of the local area.

However, securing The Ebenezer is just the first step into a complete regeneration and rejuvenation of the surrounding area according to the councillor, who has detailed his lofty plans in an email to Wrexham Council.

Cllr Metcalfe said: “We have been pursuing the concept of a cable car system to link Cefn Mawr Village Centre to Windborne Gateway, Windborne Gateway Parking, backed up by Zip Wires.”

“Installation of such a system with the correct road signage and traffic management can increase the visitor count from 330,000 a year at the aqueduct to 500,000.

“The Cable Car and Zip Wires acting as a Tourist Attraction and Urban Transport system would provide significant foot fall into our village centre where it will be necessary to reopen the Ebenezer as an Arts & Visitor Centre for the Cefn & Cefn Mawr.

“We cannot tempt tourists onto the Cable Car with the offer of a couple of pints in the Holly Bush Inn. Yes, we have a vested Interest in making this happen. Our pub will only do as well as the community that surrounds it, so the more we can do for our community, the better it will be for our pub.

“We estimate 30 jobs split between the WBG, Cable Car & Zip Wires and the Ebenezer as an Arts and Visitor Centre for the Cefn & Cefn Mawr at the centre of the Pontcysyllte World Heritage Site corridor.

“If WCBC & partners will work with us for the inclusion of our community in the World Heritage Site to bring tourism on a commercially viable basis to our village centre this will take approximately 2 years to complete.

“This will give all our local shop keepers time to prepare for a large influx of people which will stimulate growth and economic regeneration, which has currently stalled.

“With increased business activity in our village centre this will no doubt raise the employment opportunity available in the retail sector, hence more jobs again.

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.

Wrexham County Borough Council initially put the former chapel up for auction, looking to sell it to the highest bidder, however, after many in the local community voiced concerns that the building could be sold and then put to use in a way which would not help the future regeneration of the village, it was decided that proposals for the building’s usage would decide who would claim ownership instead.

Cllr Metcalfe added in his email that he believes the Plas Kynaston Canal Group’s bid is the largest, and has criticised a lack of insight into other bids and proposals for The Ebenezer Chapel from Wrexham Council.

“We believe that we have most probably made WCBC the highest offer for the building at £200K, twice the asking price, therefore based solely on this alone you should be seeking to work with us for the economic regeneration of our community.

“Further to this we have sent you clear proof that you do not have to seek the highest offer if an offer is made that will benefit the community which our intentions are clearly for.

“However, we are not aware of the other offers, or what their intended use of the building will be, since WCBC has not been forthcoming with information although ‘transparency’ is claimed.

“To be frank, all we have seen so far from WCBC are fancy words and quoted council procedure which is not enlightening or helpful.”