Town centre plan delay

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Major new developments in the future direction of Wigan town centre have resulted in the planned regeneration of Market Place being put on hold.

The council has decided to temporarily postpone the public realm redevelopment works to ensure they can create the best town centre possible.

The Market Place scheme, which was due to start later this month, has been put on hold to ensure it aligns with wider aspirations for the town centre as set out in the recently developed town centre masterplan.

Feedback from partners and members of the public, relating to the importance of heritage and culture within the town centre, has also helped shape the decision.

Work on a new Wigan bus station, led by TfGM, will continue as planned with a start date in the summer months.

This will last for around 18 months and will create a state-of-the-art bus station to improve connectivity on a modern public transport system.

It is hoped that the hold on Market Place will reduce inconvenience for members of the public while the bus station redevelopment is on-going.

Karl Battersby, Wigan Council’s director for economy and environment, said: “We are very grateful for the recent feedback from private sector partners, businesses and members of the public about the town centre plans.

“It is important that we review the Market Place scheme which was initially devised some years ago and ensure it meets the future needs of the town centre.

“I must make clear that the council remains fully committed to investing in the town centre as set out in the town centre masterplan and to supporting town centre retailers and businesses.

“This is a crucial time for the future of Wigan town centre and it is vital we make the right decisions for its future prosperity and vitality.”

The £1m regeneration programme for Leigh town centre will go-ahead and will start in the coming weeks.

“This will mean significant improvements to Bradshawgate and Albion Street.

High quality block paving, new modern seating, LED lighting and tree planters will transform the centre creating a much more attractive space for shoppers, visitors and businesses.

This follows a pledge of £4m investment in Leigh with the public having their say on how that will be spent.