HERE’S the first look at a new hotel which promises to give Wigan town centre a massive boost.
These artist’s impressions show the innovative way that designers are set to transform the ‘concrete cube’ of former Wigan police station with a cloak of striking external white, black and grey aluminium cladding and new protruding window features.
Developers Sanguine Hospitality - who work with the industry’s biggest names such as Hilton and Inter Continental - have spent months in talks with the council to produce a invigorating new look for an uninspiring 1970’s building which have become an even greater eyesore after repeated attacks from scrap thieves and vandals.
Sanguine say the multi million pound project - exclusively revealed by the Wigan Evening Post at Christmas - will create hundreds of construction jobs and at least 20 full time positions in the long term.
The 63 bed hotel will have a minimum 25 year long lease of the site generating, say the experts, an additional £720,000 annual spend in the town centre
The scheme has been hailed as a ‘break-through moment’ by planning councillors who unanimously approved it this week.
Sanguine now expect it to be open for business in the autumn 2013.
Deputy leader of the Metro, Counc David Molyneux, whose ward includes the Crawford Street site, said after the decision: “This is really excellent news for my ward and the town centre in general.
“Everybody understands the problems as far as that building was concerned and I think this is one of the best possible solutions that we could have hoped for and one that will mean a boost to the economy and employment at such a difficult time.
“I hope that this can now help bring forward other regeneration in this part of the town centre and we will be redoubling out efforts to try and make it happen.”
The ugly, 1970s concrete edifice in Harrogate Street has been boarded up for almost a decade, after GMP decamped to a new base near Robin Park.
The site has been the focus of an ongoing development battle since being sold off by the force.
A recent scheme to build apartments became ensnared in a dispute about what percentage of affordable homes the project could sustain commercially.
He admitted: “It isn’t the most attractive building at present.
“And I believe that this application will bring a long empty building back into use while making a significant improvement to the street scene.”
Chairman of planning Coun Paul Prescott said the current condition of the former police station building made it an “embarrassment” for the borough.
The only voice of dissent came from Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court.
Their agents claimed that the hotel scheme was “inappropriate” because it would overlook the courtrooms and create “security issues”.