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Former department store could bounce back as trampoline park

18 Mar 2024 3 minute read
The former Debenhams store in Wrexham. Photo via Google.

Liam Randall, local democracy reporter

A former department store, which closed three years ago, could be brought back to life as a trampoline park, new plans have revealed.

It has been nearly three years since the Debenhams store in Wrexham’s Eagles Meadow closed its doors due to the high street chain entering administration.

Talks

The large unit has stood empty since May 2021, but a planning application has now been put forward for part of the store to be re-used for leisure purposes.

Documents submitted to Wrexham Council show the shopping centre’s owners have held talks with a firm interested in transforming the first floor of the building into a children’s trampoline park.

Eagles Meadow has been hit by the closure of several shops in recent years, with Marks and Spencer’s relocation to the Plas Coch retail park in late-2023 providing the latest blow.

However, agents acting on behalf of the centre’s parent company, Wrexham Shopping Mall Ltd, said it hoped attracting more leisure businesses would revive its prospects and create jobs.

In a design and access statement, they said: “The unit is a major unit and represents approximately 32 per cent of the retail floor space of Eagles Meadow.

Marketed

“The empty unit has been actively marketed for retail use by international real estate company Savills, but this has generated no interest from retail tenants.

“Over the years other major retail names such as M&S, Top Shop, Carphone Warehouse and H&M have all left Wrexham city centre. Over this period footfall has declined by 40 per cent.

“With recent negative impacts of ‘bricks and mortar’ retailing, a new emphasis has been placed on attracting recreation and leisure tenants with some progress being made.

“The most recent tenant interest is from a children’s trampoline centre who would be keen to take occupation of the first floor of the Debenhams unit and the adjacent vacant unit.”

The proposals show the unit would be subdivided between the ground floor and first floor, with a new entrance created on the shopping centre’s balcony.

The agents said the leisure business would also have a food and drink outlet, covering the same floorspace as the old Debenhams cafe.

They added: “The project represents an excellent opportunity to introduce a complementary leisure use within Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre where there are already leisure operators.

“We hope (this) will help to generate greater footfall and thereby sustain the shopping and leisure environment within the centre and the city centre as a whole.

“We consider the development does achieve urban regeneration, adapting the shopping centre to changing retail conditions. The use will also support new employment in the city.”

A decision will be made on the proposals by the local authority at a later date.

 


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Frank
Frank
23 days ago

A bloody trampoline park for goodness sake!!!! Why don’t the authorities turn it into a centre for training skills in various trades which are sadly in decline these days in Cymru. Immigrants have more skills than us. There are all sorts of opportunities that could be achieved apart from kids jumping up and down on a trampoline. Debenhams is a big building and I’m sure there is ample space there to accommodate kids’ activities as well as a skill centre.

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