A NEW shopping and leisure hub would "provide a much-needed breath of fresh air", the MP for Wrexham has said.

Sarah Atherton MP has welcomed the plans to redevelop a group of shops along Hope Street, Queen Street, Argyle Road and Rhosddu Road.

The Chapter Court scheme would see a mixture of stores and restaurants established on the ground floor with offices and bars above them.

While Ms Atherton stressed that ensuring Wrexham has a "safe, clean and accessible" town centre is the immediate priority, she fully backs the plans.

She said: "I have spoken with the council leaders and I fully support their plans to reinvigorate the town centre, with the creation of a new retail and leisure hub.

"It will provide a much-needed breath of fresh air to this part of town centre - that has been neglected with many of its shops left vacant for years.

"The proposals will revive this area, making it a much more desirable place for resident to live, work and visit. It will draw in new business and lead to job creations in the area."

The Leader:

However, Leader readers were less than enthused about the prospect.

Damian Conde believes more residential properties should be built instead.

He said: "I'm going to hazard a guess that most of us use some form of internet shopping, even if its once a year - we don't need more retail space, or office space.

"What we need is a residential space in lieu of these. Ease the demand on housing, house our own residents who want to stay, and encourage more from further afield who wish to make Wrexham their home and spend their money here."

Annwen Austin shared that sentiment.

She added: "Is it more retail shops Wrexham needs? Don't think so - solving the problems that prevent locals and visitors is the first priority.

"Hubs/centres to help the roots of these problems, offering persons going through difficult times support with their problems, for example people with addiction, homelessness and mental health issues."Once these are addressed you can then decide what Wrexham and its residents deserve, look at other cities and towns who have made improvements."

The Leader:

Glynis Shaw bemoaned the aesthetics of the plans.

She said: "The buildings look institutional and not very attractive - airport walk-ways between brick buildings.

"More windows and balconies would be more welcoming - this is no substitute for a dynamic high street.

"It looks as if steps, ramps and lifts would be needed but no sign of anything beautiful."

The Leader:

Others described it as a "waste of money", and many people feel the issues of homelessness and drug use - particularly spice - in the town centre should be tackled first.

Sarah Jauncey said: "Ah another place for empty shops. Nobody wants to come to Wrexham - adding more buildings will not help.

"Wrexham cannot attract people to rent the shops it has, major retailers are failing, this is going to be another white elephant of a waste of money."

Mark Jones added: "Stephanie Wrexham died when they separated it to three different parts.

"Broughton, 10 miles up the road. has it right - free parking and all shops in one place."

The Leader:

Wrexham Enterprise Hub and Wrexham Council declined to comment on the plans.

Wrexham Business Group was approached for a comment.