College wheel to move

Wigan College mining wheel

Wigan College mining wheel

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ONE of the borough’s most iconic landmarks is on the move as part of a £12.3m rebuilding programme.

Wigan and Leigh College’s pit-head wheel which was once a working piece of mining machinery at Bickershaw Colliery, was saved after the pit closed, and moved to its current Parson’s Walk location after being restored.

Now it is being relocated to a new home outside the Wheel Restaurant on New Market Street, as part of the College’s ‘Gateway Project’.

College Principal, Cath Hurst OBE, said: “Our pit-head wheel serves as an important reminder of the college’s and the town’s industrial heritage.

“It was important to us to have it continue to be a real visual landmark in what is a key gateway into the 
town.

“Work is now under way on our second phase, which will see a new and improved main entrance, and a state-of-the -art building for the main reception.

“Moving the wheel heralds the start of the future for the whole of our Parson’s Walk Centre, which will provide our students with the best learning environment, and some of the best facilities 
available.”

In its new home, the wheel will sit on a plinth, with work expected to start on that before the wheel is moved.

Demolition is currently under way at the front entrance and sports hall as part of the £5.5m redevelopment that makes up phase two of the build.

Phase one, the £5.4m Professional Studies Centre is nearing completion.

The college has also recently invested £1.4m on state-of the-art Engineering facilities at its Pagefield Centre on Walkden Avenue.