THESE images detail plans for a major hotel development that is set to revitalise Wigan town centre.
On the site of what was to have been Tower Grand – the abandoned phase two of the Grand Arcade shopping complex at the bottom of Millgate – the council has now approved plans for a six-storey 80-bed hotel due to be completed next year.
The development will hold 15,500 sq ft of retail space, a restaurant unit and 20 space car park, with the hotel generating 40 full-time and 15-part time roles
Miranda Barker, Wigan president of Manchester Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the approval of the plans as part of the regeneration of Wigan town centre.
She said: “This is potentially great news for Wigan for many reasons.
“One is that we are really in need of high quality hotel space in the centre of Wigan and I am hopeful that this development will have very good conference facilities from a business point of view.
“A development like this will help to continue the process of modernising the town, some of the other new builds in that area are of a modern design but are also in-keeping with the traditional red-brick appearance of the town centre.
“But there are also some run down buildings that have become an eyesore and a new hotel would certainly make the that area more attractive.”
The Tower Grand development could be located adjacent to a rival hotel chain, with Premier Inn having confirmed in recent weeks plans to take over the site of the former police station on Harrogate Street.
Although the site’s planning developers confirmed to the Observer that Tower Grand, next to the Life Centre, has attracted interest from both budget and high quality hotel chains.
William McAlister of Scarborough Development Group, said: “We believe this final phase of the Grand Arcade development will provide a major boost for residents and visitors to Wigan.
“We are now in discussion with a number of hotel operators, restaurateurs, retailer and other leisure operators including a gym.
“And we anticipate construction commencing later this year with completion in late 2014.”
Deputy leader Coun David Molyneux said: “Although we are in the early stages in the process, it is certainly a positive endorsement that developers are interested in Wigan and the town centre.
“The development would continue to compliment all the good work which has taken place in this part of the town including the Life Centre and the Grand Arcade.”