Work on Haigh food hub to start

Julie and Craig Dugan of All You Knead at the Haigh Hall Kitchen Courtyard launch
Julie and Craig Dugan of All You Knead at the Haigh Hall Kitchen Courtyard launch
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Work to create a regional food and drink hub at Haigh Woodland Park as part of the transformation of the site will begin this month.

The Kitchen Courtyard will house artisan food and drink producers and retailers including a microbrewery and cask beer bar, ice cream parlour, butcher, chocolatier, artisan bakery and the existing florist.

Visitors to the park over the next few months will see a lot of changes starting to take shape as work moves forward to develop this regional tourist destination; bringing new leisure opportunities for people in Wigan borough and further afield

Penny McGinty

The ambitious project forms part of the £12m Haigh Woodland Park development and aims to welcome more than 150,000 food tourists each year.

The new park will include a £6m restoration of the Grade II listed hall into a four-star boutique Contessa hotel, set to boost the local economy by £30m and increase visitor numbers to 500,000 per year.

Wigan Council is also investing around £4m in infrastructure improvements and new attractions within the 250 acres of woodland surrounding the hall.

The deal will reduce the maintenance burden for Wigan borough taxpayers by £8m over the next decade.

Other highlights of the master plan include a high ropes area and an innovative adventure golf course.

Penny McGinty, Assistant Director of Leisure and Property, said: “Visitors to the park over the next few months will see a lot of changes starting to take shape as work moves forward to develop this regional tourist destination; bringing new leisure opportunities for people in Wigan borough and further afield.”

The café on site will be refurbished and reopened with a new country kitchen menu and an upstairs tearoom will be introduced.

Phase one of the food and drink courtyard will open mid- June with the other units following shortly afterwards.

While the development work is being carried out, there will be a food and drink offer provided by the Stables Café in the courtyard.

Holdens of Edgeworth will also be on site offering a menu of home made ice

creams.

The development hasn’t been entirely problem-free. Last year members of Haigh Hall golf club expressed concern that their changing facilities were being taken away to be turned into the micro-brewery.

But leisure chiefs have reassured them that in the long run their facilities should be even better.