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Last Updated: Friday, 19 September, 2003, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
John Lewis pulls out of town
Eagles Meadow, Wrexham
Eagles Meadow in Wrexham is being redeveloped
A multi-million pound plan to redevelop a disused area of Wrexham has fallen through with the withdrawal of a major department store.

National company John Lewis were due to open a home and food department store at Eagles Meadow in the town, which has been left derelict since the re-location of the Asda supermarket.

There were hopes that hundreds of new jobs would have been created when the shop opened in 2004.

Wrexham Council have said it is "bitterly disappointed" by John Lewis' decision after the company told them that Wrexham is not a priority for them.

Plans had previously been submitted to build a new cinema on the site but these were shelved after interest from the John Lewis Partnership.

We know that a bowling alley is high on the list of priorities for young people and I am confident that it will be part of the development
Shan Wilkinson Wrexham Council

"Of course I am disappointed when hopes were high that such a high quality store would be coming to Wrexham, but I know other big names are interested in Eagles Meadow," said Wrexham Council Leader Shan Wilkinson.

"We know that a bowling alley is high on the list of priorities for young people and I am confident that it will be part of the development."

After long and detailed discussions John Lewis ruled that the Wrexham investment is currently "not a priority for a number of commercial reasons".

The department store group had said it was keen to develop sites in the north west of the UK, with the nearest currently over 100 miles away in Nottinghamshire.

Wrexham Council claim retail and leisure interests remain strong in the scheme.

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