EXPRESSIONS of interest are being sought in relation to the site of a former secondary school, which is subject to a long running debate over its future.

Wrexham Council has previously failed in its attempts to demolish the Groves School in Wrexham town centre after it was listed by the Welsh Government.

The local authority conducted a feasibility study to look at the possibility of using it for educational use once again.

However, it said refurbishing the building as a primary school would be too expensive, with an estimated cost of £11.5 million, and declared the structure surplus to requirements.

The council’s assets department is now advertising the 3.5 acres of land as a potential development opportunity and is inviting expressions of interest.

A recently published notice asks developers or ‘other end users’ to come forward to either lease or take over the freehold of the site completely.

Steve Bayley, head of housing and economy, said: “We as an authority have to examine options for the future of the former Groves school building, and this exercise in inviting expressions of interest will allow us to test the market and see if any proposed uses might be put forward, in line with the building’s listed status.”

The land was previously earmarked to be sold to Coleg Cambria, but those plans fell through as it chose to remodel its current campus nearby.

At one stage, it was occupied by members of the homeless community before they were later moved on.

An agreement has been reached for Wrexham AFC to create a training ground on part of the site, with the focus of proposals for a new primary school switching to the Nine Acre Field.

Meanwhile, a cross-party task force has been set up to consider the future use of the Groves building itself.

Cllr Carrie Harper (Plaid), who is a member of the group, said their work was ongoing.

She said: “I can confirm that the task and finish has met on three occasions so far.

“Its role is one of oversight in terms of officers work in finding a use for the building, and of providing challenge to lead members in relation to the development of those options.

“I’m keen to see the building brought back into use for the benefit of the town.

“I am hopeful the work done over the last year in taking this through a scrutiny process and now through a task and finish group has secured a focus on this issue that was missing previously, and hopefully results in this finally moving forward.”