Wigan braces itself for a Royal visit

The Duke of Gloucester

The Duke of Gloucester

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WIGAN’S new marina will be given a Royal name when The Duke of Gloucester unveils it this week.

First cousin to the Queen, HRH Prince Richard The Duke of Gloucester, will officially rename the Bickershaw Marina, with the new title Diamond Jubilee Marina, ahead of the first phase of construction work alongside it later this year.

Whilst there, he will meet some of the people involved in the restoration work and unveil new information boards illustrating the rich history of the area.

Deborah McLaughlin, executive director North West at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), said: “We’ve now reached a fantastic point in the redevelopment of Bickershaw South and this marks a major milestone in progressing our work to make this a place where people choose to live, work and invest.

“With the new marina, infrastructure and outline planning in place, we are now seeking a partner to develop a mix of housing types and tenures for the local community and I am pleased that we have been able to provide investment of over £19m to reach the point we have today.

“I am especially proud of the environmental work we have been supported on the site, during the remediation work all excavated materials were reused on site and we used modern technology to help improve and protect existing wetland habitats for the benefit of local wildlife.”

The Duke will also officially open the £217m Wigan Life Centre, and visit the popular Greenheart regional park.

As he arrives via a helicopter, the Duke - an architectural expert - will meet staff and the designers of the Life Centre and will be given a guided tour of the brand new Wigan Life Centre.

And as the Duke’s charities and interests include conservation and support groups for young people, he will also explore the Greenheart regional park, accompanied by the Mayor, Coun Myra Whiteside and leader of the council, Lord Smith.

In Amberswood Common, he will view the new outdoor classroom facility used by local school children and after visiting the marina, his final port of call will be Pennington Flash Country Park.