ONE of Wigan’s most state-of-the-art projects will be officially opened by the Duke of Gloucester next month.
Wigan Life Centre took two and a half years and £217m to build and opened to the public in January.
It was built as part of a project aimed to improve leisure services in the borough and as part of an ongoing regeneration scheme for the town centre.
On July 5 architectural expert and first cousin to the Queen, HRH Prince Richard The Duke of Gloucester, will get a tour and formally declare the award-winning centre open.
The Mayor Coun Myra Whiteside, will greet The Duke in her hometown of Leigh.
She said: “I am proud to welcome the Duke to our borough on behalf of the council, partners and all residents.
“We have a lot to show the Duke and I am looking forward to showing him the Life Centre, which combines traditional architecture with a striking, modern look.
“I know it will be of particular interest to the Duke who has long-established links with architectural conservation.”
Before his tour of the Life Centre he will arrive in Leigh, visit Pennington Flash and the new marina off Plank Lane, as well as getting to see many other parts of the borough.
The Life Centre was formed from part of the old Municipal Buildings, which were terracotta 1930s structures built to match the late Victorian former mining college and now town hall opposite.
It is home to libraries, advice centres and a range of public services in an innovative partnership of local organisations.
It was built as a Private Finance Initiative and has proved popular with residents in its opening months.
The mayor added: “We’re making this is a practical, working visit. The itinerary will showcase our local talents and how we’ve managed the heritage of our landscape and environment.
“Given the Duke’s interests and expertise, it will be a wonderful opportunity to present our very best to him.”