A PREFERRED site has been identified for a new health centre in Cefn Mawr.

Campaigners say the long-awaited project has taken ‘a major step forward’ after Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board confirmed they are exploring building a brand new primary care facility at the Tabernacle Chapel site on Well Street, next to the current Caritas Surgery.

The breakthrough was welcomed by local Member of the Senedd Ken Skates and councillor Derek Wright, who launched the campaign for a new surgery in 2015 alongside the late Cefn Community Council chairman Ken Bathers.

In a meeting on Friday, BCUHB bosses said a new surgery for Cefn Mawr is being prioritised and the process of ‘selecting the preferred development option’ will proceed immediately.

Clwyd South MS Mr Skates said: “This has been an extremely long road but Derek and I promised to keep pushing for this for the people of Cefn. This is a major step forward and I’m grateful to the health board for committing to progressing this as quickly as possible.”

Cllr Wright added: “We have needed this for such a long time and it now it feels like we’re really getting somewhere. We’d also like to thank the chapel trustees for their patience in this matter.”

Mr Skates said the health board would provide more detail on the project once a business case had been approved and funding secured. Specialist site surveys are being arranged, which it is hoped will clear the way for a new surgery on the site of the existing practice and neighbouring disused chapel.

Mr Skates added: “The health board is now looking to progress this project at pace.”

Mr Skates and Cllr Wright, along with late Cllr Bathers, presented a petition of more than 2,000 names calling for a new surgery to BCUHB in 2016 and the campaign has continued since.