Council confirm auction for building after community offer rejected – “It is more transparent and gives everybody an opportunity”
A building which underwent renovations worth more than £1 million is set to go under the hammer at a guide price of around £100,000 despite a bid from a community group.
Ebenezer Chapel in Cefn Mawr received a significant injection of grant funding in 2008, which saw it converted into a community centre with office and gallery spaces and a café bar however it closed its doors five years later.
Wrexham Council are now looking to dispose of the property. Among those looking to buy it are members of the Plas Kynaston Canal Group, which has ambitious plans to link it to plans for a new cable car system. Recently the group have offered Wrexham Council £100,000 for the site ahead of an impending auction, however that was rejected.
A spokesperson for the community group said: “We are not asking for charity, we have offered the asking price for the Ebenezer, for the benefit of our community and have only sought to work with WCBC, and all, for a successful outcome through Sustainable Tourism Development. However, the offer has been refused by WCBC through insisting that the Ebenezer is sold at auction to an unknown bidder for an unknown purpose.
“This puts the Ebenezer, a community facility in a very precarious position and the future of our community in jeopardy.”
We asked Wrexham Council Leader Mark Pritchard about the auction, and why a bid had been rejected.
Cllr Pritchard said: “What we do when we have a building or a parcel of land we make a decision on which way we’re going to move forward with it.”
“On this occasion we have decided for it to go to auction because we’ve been successful in the past with auctions, and we’ve had over and above what we estimated.
“I think the difficulty we have, and I’m not breaking anybody’s confidence here because it’s out there, they have made an offer but there’s been a larger offer by somebody else. But we’re still going to take it to auction.
“Now, if they have aspirations and they have the money and they have the finance in place they can go to the auction and bid for it. I think that is the best way to go.
“It is more transparent, it’s more open and it gives everybody an opportunity to go after something that they want.”
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