Plans to kick-start the redevelopment of Wigan Pier with a new leisure and events facility have taken a major step forward.
Businessman David Mayhall’s proposal to transform the former Monks Car Sales showroom on Southgate into a trendy industrial-themed bar and food court has been approved by Wigan Council.
Permission has been granted for a “multi-functional leisure space” with scope for social and arts events, a cafe and the creation of a mezzanine floor.
The new venue will be roughly based on attractions such as Altrincham Market, though it is not expected to be open throughout the week.
Mr Mayhall, director of property company Rosy Pelican which submitted the application, hopes the facility, along with the performance venue at Today’s Community Church under construction, will act as a catalyst encouraging other businesses to move into the once-thriving area.
He said: “The pier is an area with massive potential. There have been various plans for it over the years and it needs a kick to get it going.
“There is also the concert hall at the church down the road. It’s not short-term, I’m in this for the long haul.
“It will be an industrial-themed bar and then we’re going to have a food court. I’ve also got an off licence and we’re thinking about doing pop-up events like a small cinema on Sundays.
“We want other people to join us down there and hopefully that will be catalyst to drag people down that way, because there’s not a lot going on there at the moment apart from people walking through to the football and rugby.”
Mr Mayhall’s Two Left Feet Brewery is currently hard at work creating a food venue and tap in the Kitchen Courtyard at Haigh Woodland Park.
That means work at the pier venue is not expected to start until autumn but Mr Mayhall hopes to spend around two months’ refitting it, enabling it to open just before Christmas.
Wigan Council has imposed a number of conditions, saying work must begin within three years, the materials used must be approved and measures must be taken to reduce noise impact.
A licence to open seven days a week between 10am and 11.30pm has been granted.