A CELEBRATION was held to mark the relaunch of a Wrexham convenience store following an “upsetting” armed robbery.

The shop, on Glanllyn Road in Bradley, was taken on by Ahelaselvan Nadesadillai in July last year after formerly being run by Gwersyllt east/south county councillor Tina Mannering.

Cllr David A Bithell, the deputy leader of Wrexham Council, came to cut a ribbon on behalf of Cllr Mannering and officially mark the store’s transformation from an independent shop into a Premier store.

Mr Nadesadillai - known to friends, colleagues and customers as Nad - told the Leader he was very pleased with the change, which has seen “ten times” the amount of stock introduced.

He said: “It is a small store and we have extended it and changed to Premier.

“We have a very good, friendly team here and this is a very good location with a good community around us.”

The event comes after an incident on the evening of January 2 in which two men in their twenties or early thirties entered the store armed with a machete, before emptying the till and stealing alcohol.

Mr Nadesadillai, of Sychdyn near Mold, told the Leader the experience had been very difficult for the staff who had been working at the time, and had shaken one to the extent that they had stopped working there.

“She had to leave,” he explained. “She is OK but she is still affected by this. I looked at the CCTV video and I was shocked - it was not a small knife. It was very big.

“My staff come here to work hard from 7am to 10pm and they don’t want this. It was upsetting”

Mr Nadesadillai, who also runs a Premier Store in Sychdyn and a Londis in New Broughton, told the Leader he has now had the security measures at the shop improved.

Cllr Mannering took the store on in 2009 and said she had been “shocked and upset” at the news of the robbery.

“It’s such a shame,” she said. “In ten years of being there we had that door open and nothing happened.”

Looking ahead to the future, she said: “I loved working there but I decided to let it go after I became a councillor because I couldn’t do both.

“Nad has done wonders with it and it is lovely to see him support the community.

“It is fantastic that all of the girls who worked there have kept their jobs too - I would like to wish them all the very best for the future and I hope we can continue to work together.”

Pam Lucas, who worked at the store when it was run by Cllr Mannering, said: “It’s really good and I hope it takes off for Nad.

“He definitely deserves it, he’s worked very hard on it.”

On January 2, masked men also attempted to break into the post office in Southsea Road, Southsea and two men entered the Premier Stores in Victoria Road, Brynteg, before causing damage and taking cigarettes and alcohol.

Anyone who has information about the incidents in Brynteg, Southsea or Bradley on January 2 can contact police on 101 with reference Y000939 or Y000940.