Entertainment venue plan for Wigan Pier Quarter is ditched

The former Monks Car Sales still stands empty
The former Monks Car Sales still stands empty

Plans for an Altrincham Market-style events venue at Wigan Pier have been abandoned - after they were trumped by a bigger project on the opposite side of the canal.

It was in January 2017 that the “multifunctional leisure space” - able to accommodate everything from band gigs to food and drink festivals - was unveiled by brewer and businessman David Mayhall who intended to redevelop the former Monks Car Sales building and car park on Pottery Road.

Altrincham Market

Altrincham Market

It was to be modelled on popular drinking and entertainment attractions like The Boiler Shop in Newcastle and designed to form part of the revival of the Pier Quarter.

At that point The Edge had been created on Southgate but only the vaguest of suggestions had been made about what would happen to the former Way We Were Museum, Orwell pub and education centre as Wigan Council looked for someone to take on their redevelopment.

Mr Mayhall had bought the premises, brought in an architect to redesign them and was granted both planning permission and an entertainments licence.

In February last year he expressed hope of opening the place within two months.

But the project stalled and now it has been scrapped altogether after permission was given to turn the Way We Were premises, only a couple dozen yards across the water, into a similar but much bigger venue including a food hall, micro-brewery and gin distillery.

Mr Mayhall said: “I cannot compete with that; they will have 20 to 30 operators in there. It has blown the project out of the water.

“It just does not make commercial sense to continue with the plan now; there’s no point spending money on it. It’s partly my own fault. I should have got my finger out and started on it a couple of years ago.”

Mr Mayhall said he was not sure what to do next with the building.

“It’s back to the drawing board, I guess,” he said.

The Pier facilities being transformed by Step Places are due to launch in the spring.