Trespassing teens spark safety pleas

Youngsters spotted on the roof of the Pagefield building
Youngsters spotted on the roof of the Pagefield building

Teens have been spotted dicing with death once again at an abandoned Wigan mill, prompting a safety warning ahead of half-term week.

Concerned residents snapped the youngsters this weekend walking across the roof of the Pagefield Mill building near to Mesnes Park.

This is an extremely dangerous site and we are urging young people to stay away from it for their own safety

Mike Worden

The abandoned multi-storey site - formerly Rylands Mill - has been the subject of dozens of safety pleas in recent years.

And emergency services bosses have become increasingly concerned about the potential for a serious accident.

Wigan Council recently completed the demolition of a number of outbuildings on the site and attempts have been made to shore up security.

A neighbouring resident, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Evening Post: “Money has been spent to improve security but we spotted youngsters there all weekend.

“It’s only a matter of time before something bad happens, they have been throwing stones at our windows.

“We saw two lads early on Sunday morning, they could have possibly spent the night in the mill. The trouble normally calms down in the winter.”

The Victorian Society has placed the mill on its list of endangered historic buildings as a “prime example of a lack of investment outside of the South West.”

It has also recently been put up for sale for £2.5m, with the package including planning permission to transform the listed building into dozens of apartments.

Last month council bosses said they would be seeking to recover £70,000 costs related to the demolition from owners Pagefield Properties Ltd.

Earlier this year fire service chiefs issued a stark warning to trespassing youngsters after a gas canister was left precariously close to a fire.

Crew manager Simon Connor said it was not the first time firefighters’ lives had been placed at risk at the site.

Mike Worden, Wigan Council’s assistant director for planning and transport, said: “This is an extremely dangerous site and we are urging young people to stay away from it for their own safety and also encourage parents to warn their children.

“We are working with the police and swift action will be taken against those who are caught trespassing.”