WIGAN Council is bracing itself for major upheaval as services are moved into the long-awaited Life Centre.
Both north and south sites of the borough’s new public services hub are nearing completion and staff in council offices are preparing to move into the state-of-the-art buildings.
Reception areas at the Civic Building, in New Market Street, and for Adult Services at the Civic Centre, in Millgate, will close to the public on Friday, August 5.
Services provided to the public from these buildings will eventually be transferred to the north site of the Wigan Life Centre, which is due to open in January.
Coun Chris Ready, Wigan Council’s portfolio holder for communications and customers, said: “The new one-stop-shop will transform the way in which the council delivers its customer services.
“A wide range of information and services will be available under one roof making council assistance more accessible than ever before.
“Inevitably there will be some short-term upheaval as we prepare for the opening of the new centre but we are doing all we can to ensure that our customers can still make contact with the council and its partners. We would ask all our customers to please bear with us during this time.”
It has taken 10 years – and some choppy economic times – to bring the £217m Life Centre to Wigan.
The buildings – two sites either side of the existing town hall - are virtually all funded from government credits and private finance.
Wigan Council has contributed slightly more than £2m to the project. The cost to bring the decaying former pool back to acceptable standards was on its own estimated to be over £1m.
The project has been delivered by construction firm Morgan Sindall.
The north site of the Life Centre – in the Wiend – is due to open in early January 2012.
It will contain library and information facilities as well as a one-stop-shop, centralising local public and voluntary services in one easily accessible location.
The healthy living zone - a gym, two large pools, a sprung dance floor and other health facilities - forms the heart of the new south site, in College Avenue, which will also contain offices for local public services.
Members of the public who use services in the council’s Civic Centre and Civic Building are being urged to use alternative options from Monday, August 8, until the opening of the Life Centre office. Enquiries should now be made:
Face to face at Wigan Town Hall (entrance on Library Street)
Online at www.wigan.gov.uk
By telephone on 01942 404364.
For more information on the Life Centre, go online at www.wigan.gov.uk/wiganischanging