PARKING charges at a £4.5 million market and arts centre could soon be increased in order to generate extra revenue.

Prices at Tŷ Pawb in Wrexham could soon be hiked by an extra 50p for all day parking from £2.50 up to £3 in a bid to raise an additional £14,000.

It comes as backbench politicians prepare to scrutinise the performance of the flagship centre, which opened in April last year.

The facility has faced a number of challenges in the last 12 months, including a recent audit which identified ‘serious weaknesses’ in financial procedures.

Meanwhile, traders also criticised the way it was being run after becoming embroiled in a contract dispute.

However, despite the problems, senior figures insisted that the centre has performed well.

In a report, they said: “Tŷ Pawb officially opened its doors to the public on the 2nd of April 2018 with a celebratory opening parade and launch event Dydd Llun Pawb/Everybody’s Monday which payed homage to the old Victorian tradition of Wrexham residents attending a spring market over the bank holiday.

“The event was extremely well received and with footfall through the doors on the day estimated at over 10,000 people widely viewed as a great success.

“The exhibition programme has continued to build on its initial successes and the high profile Grayson Perry exhibition curated alongside the locally relevant and inspiring Uptwist/Downtwist exhibition demonstrated ambition to be not just a venue of regional significance but the desire for continued wider recognition.

“A level of stability has been established within the market/retail offer at Tŷ Pawb with traders continuing to offer a variety of goods and services.

“The post-Christmas environment within the retail environment is traditionally slow, the Tŷ Pawb team ensured that a consistent level of activity was achieved within the facility throughout this period to support the traders and businesses.”

Footfall is now measured electronically at all entrances to the centre, and figures show the opening day was the most successful event held.

Total visitor numbers for the year stand at 137,000, with the Focus Wales music festival also proving popular.

A new revised business plan is set to be put in place for Tŷ Pawb for the next five years.

It comes after a separate plan written by consultants appears to have been abandoned.

It states: “In 2015, Fourth Street were commissioned by Wrexham County Borough Council to develop a detailed business plan for the day-to-day operation, management and governance of an arts and cultural hub at the People’s Market building in Wrexham.

“The Tŷ Pawb Business Plan 2019-2020 takes into account the plan as set out by Fourth Street, but recognises that the operation of the venue has evolved.

“It is based on actual statistics and working knowledge from a full year’s operation at Tŷ Pawb; and is structured around the same functional areas originally identified in 2015.

“Increasing visitor dwell time and positive engagement in what Tŷ Pawb has to offer is a key focus for 2019/20.”

The report will be discussed by members of Wrexham Council’s employment, business and investment scrutiny committee at a meeting due to be held on Thursday.