Travel business gives Pier site a massive boost

Richard Calvert, chief executive of Shearings, with deputy council leader David Molyneux and Gary Speakman, chief financial officer of Shearings
Richard Calvert, chief executive of Shearings, with deputy council leader David Molyneux and Gary Speakman, chief financial officer of Shearings

A major Wigan employer is set to move to a new head office location in the town as part of a large-scale investment programme.

Shearings Leisure Group, a leading specialist operator of escorted tours and leisure hotels, will move from its current Miry Lane site to Waterside House in Wigan Pier Business Park on a 10-year lease.

The office will provide 18,000 sq ft of space for its 200-strong workforce.

The new space will include a ‘travel shop’ in its reception for customers wanting to drop in and enquire or book face to face.

Earlier this year, the Group – which includes the Shearings Holidays, National Holidays and the Coast and Country and Bay hotel brands – announced record sales, profits and passenger numbers in the 12 months to December 2016, its fourth successive year of growth. Revenue increased three per cent to £207.2m (2015: £200.8m) alongside passenger number growth of four per cent to 1.12m (2015: 1.08m).

Shearings’ chief executive Richard Calvert said the move was part of a wider, long-term investment programme to support its success.

He said: "This is all about investment in the future growth of the business and our commitment to a town which has been a big part of our success for decades.

"We already work closely with Wigan Council across a range of initiatives designed to promote the town and they helped us to identify the right head office for our future needs.

"Shearings Leisure Group is a national company with a team of over 2,600 employees located across all of the UK, but is immensely proud of its Wigan roots and to be headquartered in Wigan. Creating the right environment for our people to succeed is an important part of our growth strategy."

He added: "The move is also a statement of our confidence in the borough, which we believe is one of the North West region’s best locations for business thanks to its connectivity and talent. The Wigan Pier Quarter district is a key regeneration site and the new HS2 route can only support the continued renewal of the borough.

"We’re delighted to be part of that story."

Shearings’ announcement follows final approval from Government in July of the HS2 route, which confirmed Wigan North Western as the North West’s gateway to the UK’s high speed rail network.

Deputy council leader David Molyneux said: "We are proud to have a company with the profile, reputation and history of Shearings Leisure Group based in Wigan. At the council we want to retain successful and growing companies within the borough which is why we were committed to helping to find Shearings a new headquarters here."