A WREXHAM café owner has launched a scathing attack on Wrexham Council after she was forced to give up her thriving business to make way for the town's proposed theatre - only for the project to be
Four years ago Bettie Gilliatt was told that she would have to close her busy café, next to Wrexham Library, as plans for the new £6m theatre and conference centre were drawn up.
And she ended up spending more than £60,000 moving to smaller premises on Chester Road, which is now called Mrs G's.
But, a week after councillors agreed to ditch the controversial project, Mrs Gilliatt says she is furious she was forced to give up her business for no reason.
'I'm angry to say the least,' said Mrs Gilliatt.'I have had my livelihood swept from beneath my feet because of this theatre and now it's not even going ahead. It's very upsetting.
'It was a great little business. Over the years it became very popular with a lot of people, especially as it was attached to the library and thanks to its general location.
'The new business is not really the same. It is a nice café but it doesn't have the same atmosphere and it's certainly not as popular. It takes time to build up customers. Although some customers have come with us, a lot of them haven't because it's further to walk for many regulars.'
Mrs Gilliatt also claims the cost of setting up the new business resulted in more than half of her faithful staff losing their jobs.
'The upheaval of moving was also very upsetting. The new premises had no facilities and we had to spend a lot of money refurbishing it,' she said. scrapped.
'We had a great team at the old place and we really enjoyed working together. We had 15 members of staff but now we only have six because I had to cover the enormous cost of moving. I lost a lot of loyal staff and spent thousands of pounds for nothing. In hindsight, I should have stuck to my guns and stayed there.'
Mrs Gilliatt ran the original café next to Wrexham Library for 16 years, but was told by Wrexham Council in 1999 that her lease would not be renewed as the authority planned to build the proposed new theatre on the land.
'I've never publicly criticised the council for their decision to build a theatre in Wrexham, whatever I might have thought in private, but you only have to look at how other theatres in the North West are struggling to see that people aren't prepared to pay vast sums of money to go to them.
'Wrexham has lost one of its most popular cafés and it's a real shame because it was all for nothing. I'd love to be able to move back to the original site, but I don't know if it's going to be possible.'
A spokesman for Wrexham Council said the future of the former café building would now be considered in due course.