Hotel plans back on track

CGI of Tower Grand site
CGI of Tower Grand site

STALLED plans for a Wigan town centre hotel and retail development are back on and poised to spring a jobs boost to the borough economy.

Building work was supposed to have been well underway for the Tower Grand project but inactivity on the River Way site has sparked rumours the ambitious plans had hit the rocks.

The Evening Post understands an announcement - including confirmation of the hotel, retail and leisure firms due to occupy the 15,700ft sq complex - is due in the near future.

When details first emerged of the project and planning permission was granted back in 2013, the plans were hailed as a major scoop for the town and said to create 40 full-time and 15 part-time jobs.

Developers Scarborough Group released computer generated images of the six-storey hotel although the providers in talks to takeover have not been confirmed.

Since then two rival hotel providers have swooped in to secure locations close to the town centre with Premier Inn opening on the site of the town’s former police station on Harrogate Street and Holiday Inn Express are planning on opening a new site at Martland Mill next year.

A £60m revamp of the Galleries shopping centre has also been tabled for the next few years and luxury hotel chain Contessa has enered into a £12m deal to convert Contessa Hotels.

The Tower Grand project, located in the middle of the Grand Arcade centre and Wigan Life Centre, includes the hotel and a number of retail units suitable for shops, restaurants and bars.

News that the project has not permanently stalled will be welcomed by borough bosses who are keen to create an “alive after five” economy.

Speaking last year about the influx of hotel projects in the borough, Wigan Council deputy leader Coun David Molyneux said: “Let’s not forget, there’s a lot on offer in Wigan.

“You’ve got to look at its geographical location, it’s a superb place for anyone wanting to spend some time in the North West. Wigan itself has a lot to offer with the transport links with the major cities Manchester, Liverpool and the seaside resorts.

“I think Wigan will benefit from that and I think we’ll see some major investments coming our way.”