AMBITIOUS plans have been revealed to transform a former department store in Wrexham into an interactive science park.

Techniquest Glyndŵr first announced last year its intentions to relocate to the former TJ Hughes building, which links Henblas Square to Chester Street.

Since then the science discovery centre has held a number of pop-up events in the old store, which stood empty for seven years, while still keeping its main base at Glyndŵr University’s Mold Road campus.

An application has now been entered to Wrexham Council reinforcing its desire to make the move permanent.

The plans include stripping out the existing fittings and adding workshops as well as a laboratory, planetarium and theatre.

It also includes aspirations for central play zone to replace the existing escalators, which could take the form a giant climbing frame and slide.

Interior designers DAY id have set out in the planning documents how the scheme will represent the town’s industrial heritage.

They said: “The historic town of Wrexham has a rich industrial past that is very much alive.

“While not being the prime objective, it provides a link to how industry and science can play a major part in how we tell our stories and illustrate this knowledge.

“The existing site has a deep floor plate with a good ceiling height and can be stripped out to provide a simple base for the new space.

“A constant element that the space should adopt is a fun storytelling element that is both engaging and interactive.

“The central escalators can be converted into a giant climbing frame and slide.

“Some key interactive elements may have a serious overarching motive like awareness for plastic waste and environmental matters that can be illustrative but thought provoking.”

The design for the centre also includes a shop and dining area, as well as offices and meeting rooms.

North Wales Science Ltd, the charity that runs Techniquest Glyndŵr, previously said it wanted to move its operational base to the building in the centre of Wrexham at some stage this year.

The initial agreement to open on a short-term basis followed negotiations between the MCR Property Group, which owns the former store, and representatives from the science charity, along with Wrexham Council and Glyndŵr University.

A number of funding applications were also submitted to enable the building to be transformed into a major visitor attraction.

Speaking last year Scot Owen, education manager at Techniquest Glyndŵr said: “We have had magnificent support so far for our plans and we are hoping our continued presence in the town centre will help to re-vitalise not only the town centre and the businesses situated there, but also become another reason for people to start visiting the town centre again.

“Through our presence in the town centre we are hoping we will be able to engage with a much wider audience than at our existing centre on the Glyndŵr University campus in Plas Coch.”

Wrexham Council is expected to decide on the plans at a later date.