Artisan market and food court added to Wigan borough business festival

An artisan market and food court are the tasty additions to a new Wigan borough business festival.

With just a few weeks to go until the Believe in Business Festival on Thursday, September 15, organisers are urging residents and firms not to miss out.

Designed to showcase local traders, the festival’s “high street” based at The Edge conference centre, in the Wigan Pier Quarter, will be open to the public.

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From left, Chris Richmond and Claire Southern, owners of Hetty and Flo, a new independent shop selling homewares and gifts, on Market Street, Hindley.

There will be a variety of lunch options, with residents invited to go along between 9am and 2.30pm to enjoy the festival.

The Believe in Business Festival will be the first event organised by the Business Consortium – which formed last year to focus on the borough’s long-term economic recovery from the pandemic – in partnership with Wigan Council.

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The day is set to contain a packed schedule of workshops, panels and business support – all of which are free to attend.

Local traders already confirmed include Hetty and Flo – a business selling homewares, gifts and cards – jewellery from Benny and Moo, a variety of sweet treats from Uncle Joe’s, Luisco Chocolates and Parky’s Pics, and more.

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Coun David Molyneux.

Wigan Council leader Coun David Molyneux said: “This is set to be a great opportunity for people to support some of our fantastic local traders, with the festival high street bringing artisan traders and delicious food together.

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“There will also be lots of advice and support for residents, whether you are looking to start up your own business, employment support to get back in to work, or learn something new with our adult education courses.

“If you are looking to grow your business in an inclusive, sustainable and ethical way, you cannot afford to miss this day, especially as tickets are completely free.

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"There will be lots to learn from experts with panels and workshops, the chance to network, access business support and more.”

The festival will give businesses an opportunity to share their experiences, inspire each other to stimulate growth across the borough and will highlight support available across Greater Manchester.

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There will be chances for businesses and the public to share ideas and speak to others about employment and skills support.

Business of all sizes and sectors from across the borough will be celebrated.

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There will be workshops, panels and networking, and the festival will explore how businesses can grow.

Highlights for businesses include a panel with Good Employment Charter around recruitment, a talk from Shaun Wane – the current head coach of England’s rugby league team and former head coach at Wigan Warriors – and a panel with Dave Verburg, a motivational speaker supporting business owners since 2012.

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Jonathan Twist, managing director of Gee Tee’s, said: “Myself and the other members of the Business Consortium are looking forward to what is sure to be a worthwhile and enjoyable event for organisations of all sizes across Wigan borough.

"I’ve no doubt this will be a must-attend festival for everyone wanting to strengthen their business.”

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Book free tickets for the festival at