THE first phase of plans for a new retail and leisure hub in Wrexham look set to move forward.

Permission for the Chapter Court scheme was granted in June last year to redevelop a group of shops in the town centre, with a mixture of stores and restaurants at ground floor level and offices and bars above them.

Further proposals have now been put forward to open eight units facing onto Queen Street, Queen’s Square and Hope Street, comprising of a mixture of shops, restaurants and cafes.

An area for stalls and vans has also been allocated to the rear.

Cllr Marc Jones, who represents the area the shops come under, said the latest application had been scaled back compared to the developer’s full ambitions because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, he described it as a positive move for the town centre, despite the challenges posed by the emergency situation.

He said: “The long-awaited plans for a new development called Chapter Court in the town centre have been submitted to Wrexham Council.

“The application is for a mini-food court – on a smaller scale initially due to the pandemic and lockdown – along Queen Street and Queen’s Square.

“Plans show a number of food outlets on both sides. It’s not known when or if the bigger food court will emerge as originally planned.

“It’s an interesting addition and change of direction for the town centre as we move forward.” 

The wider proposals agreed last year were focused around a courtyard area set up behind Wrexham Enterprise Hub to host outdoor events.

But the main courtyard is not included as part of the latest submissions.

TBE (Southern) Limited, which is behind the application, previously said the scheme had been inspired by similar initiatives in other parts of the UK, including Camden Market in London and the Custard Factory in Birmingham.

Cllr Jones added: “In the last couple of years, we’ve seen the Enterprise Hub, Techniquest, Ty Pawb and new businesses such as Frisky Pudding and Hill St Social opening in place of empty shops.

“Henblas Street is slowly transforming and the markets will soon get a shot in the arm.

“Other new businesses are preparing to open and chapter one of Chapter Court is another part of the jigsaw.”

The proposals will be considered by the local authority at a later date.