A £17M RECESSION busting scheme to build a new superstore and business park creating up to 4,000 jobs came a step closer yesterday.
Finalised plans for a new Sainsbury store and business park to transform Ruabon, Wrexham, have been submitted to planners.
And developers revealed if the plans go ahead they would inject a further £2m to develop roads around the site near to the A539 £1m on community regeneration.
The move comes at a time when the credit crunch is biting hard across North Wales with firms laying off staff.
If the proposals get the green light later this year, the developers behind the scheme, Chester based Liberty Properties, said they will start construction work within weeks.
Funding for the scheme has been jointly put up by Liberty Properties and Sainsbury who believe it will give the region’s economy a much needed boost.
Liberty Properties director Emyr Williams, said: “Our proposals for Ruabon Business Park are aimed at rejuvenating the local economy, providing new jobs and opportunities for the people of Ruabon.
“It would see a considerable financial investment into the area at a time of economic difficulty not only in Wales but right across the UK and beyond.”
Liberty Properties has already completed major projects including a retail park in Stafford, and a business park in Wrexham.
Mr Williams added: “The benefits available to the local community should this scheme go ahead are significant, not least in terms of the thousands of jobs being created at a time when unemployment is rising and all we are reading about is companies laying off staff locally.”
The additional £3m would be split – £2m revamping roads with the construction of a new roundabout and Estate Road and £1m into yet to be decided community initiatives.
The developers are consulting with the public to get ideas on how that cash should be spent.
And to reassure people they would not stop after building the superstore, Liberty Properties chiefs said the proposals contain a clause guaranteeing they will build the business park.
The plans will be discussed by Wrexham County Borough Council planners later this year.
A Sainsbury spokeswoman said despite the recession it was “business as usual” for the superstore giant who were keen to press ahead with the project.
She said: “We are continuing with our long term strategy to extend out portfolio which includes the Ruabon superstore.
“When we come out of this recession we should be in a strong postilion so it is business as usual.”
Phase one would build a new Sainsbury store 33,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s food store and office village creating between 400-600 jobs developers said.
The next two phases would see the construction of 410,400 sq ft of business buildings, which could eventually add up to more than 3,500 potential jobs – if the units are filled.
Although there is widespread support for the scheme in Ruabon there were also some concerns yesterday.
Ruabon councillor Barrie Price said: “There is about 80% support for the scheme in Ruabon.
“But there are some local business concerned about the impact it could have on them.
“I am also sceptical how many multi-national business would come to the business park even though it is next to the bypass.
“There are also concerns about the traffic impact and congestion.”