£21m ‘Commercial Village’ to help lead business fightback against the COVID-19 pandemic

A MULTI-MILLION pound ‘Commercial Village’ driven by retail, hospitality and education will provide a gateway to Wrexham town centre and boost the economy. The stunning £21m extension to Coleg Cambria Yale is yet to open due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but work has been going on behind the scenes in preparation for when it is safe to unveil the Grove Park Road building. Cutting-edge facilities include a restaurant and training academy, florist, coffee bar and hair and beauty salon which will all come under the new Ial (Yale) brand. Students, staff, and the public will have access to these services and sectors, which complement existing provision and support the local economy at a challenging time for high streets across the country. Maria Stevens, Cambria’s Director of Commercial Operations, said the college will be pivotal in helping the hospitality and retail arenas make a positive recovery from the pandemic. “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,” she said. “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. “Ial will showcase the very best of this region, right down to the interior of the restaurant itself, using glass, slate and other natural elements to give customers a true sense of Wales.” Maria added: “The florist, restaurant, coffee bar and salon will all be operated by industry professionals working alongside students to give them a taste of what’s to come in their future careers. “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. “We plan on being a beacon of best practice, a leader in what needs to be a sustainable, responsible answer to the pandemic; when the time is right and it is safe to do so, Ial will be at the forefront of that recovery.” Cllr Terry Evans, Wrexham’s Lead Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, said the new facility will be an asset to the town centre for generations to come. “Ial is a fantastic addition to the site and young people can be assured of a quality experience and an excellent footing for their future careers,” said Cllr Evans. “It also complements plans for the regeneration of the town centre, and I wish everyone the very best of luck with this venture as we look to a more promising future.” Visit www.cambria.ac.uk for the latest news and information from Coleg Cambria. You can also find out more on Ial via these websites: www.ialrestaurant.co.ukwww.ialsalon.co.uk and www.ialflowers.co.uk.