The redevelopment of the Wrexham college campus is expected to open later this year, with the work having been overseen by main contractor Wynne Construction.
The campus site, one of six operated by the higher and further education provider Coleg Cambria, sits to the north of Wrexham town centre at Grove Park Road and is home to Yale Sixth Form College along with other vocational courses and apprenticeship programmes.
The £21m project has involved the demolition of existing buildings at the site and the construction of a 96,000 sq ft facility on Grove Park Road for catering, arts and sports students.
The campus extension is known as the Commercial Village, and provides a restaurant and training academy, florist, coffee bar and hair and beauty salon for students to gain valuable work experience while also helping to boost the local town centre economy.
The facilities are to be managed under Coleg Cambria’s new Ial (Yale) brand and will be accessible to students, staff and members of the public, at a challenging time for high streets across the country, according to the college. Plans for the project were submitted to Wrexham Council in 2018.
Maria Stevens, Cambria’s director of commercial operations, said: “Our ethos – particularly at the restaurant – will be centred on supporting local producers and independent businesses and giving learners a real-life, real-time experience to prepare them for the world of work.
“All of our produce will be sourced locally where possible, and meat and vegetables will be grown and supplied by our land-based sites in Llysfasi and Northop, to showcase the very best of this region.
“And, importantly, the new building will play a pivotal role in helping Wrexham to build back from the challenges of the last year, particularly the retail and hospitality industries that were hit so hard.”
And Cllr Terry Evans, Wrexham Council’s lead member for economic development and regeneration, said the new facility would “complement plans for the regeneration of the town centre”.
Covid-19 restrictions are preventing the new facility from opening at present, but the college hopes to be able to do so in the coming months.