Hub plans are unveiled for old Wigan pub-restaurant

A former Wigan pub-restaurant is being given a new lease of life as a multi-use business and hospitality complex.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 3:19 pm
Updated Friday, 21st May 2021, 3:20 pm
Work continues on the former Vale Royal pub, Gathurst Road, Orrell - which will become a hub of different businesses including an ice cream palour, computer games room and a fitness studio
Work continues on the former Vale Royal pub, Gathurst Road, Orrell - which will become a hub of different businesses including an ice cream palour, computer games room and a fitness studio

And The Hub at Gathurst could be up and running before the summer is out.

A fitness studio, ice cream parlour, a children’s party room complete with a high-tech games rooms, a photo studio and the potential for a beauty salon, clothes boutique and all manner of other enterprises are being created at what for many years was the Vale Royal on Gathurst Road.

There will also be a new restaurant, wine bar and coffee shop called The Vale at the front of the premises, although this doesn’t form part of the hub. Bosses there say they will soon be recruiting for staff as refurbishment nears completion.

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Orginally a home built in 1951 and called Elizabeth House, the building has been a restaurant for much of its life since and for a period did a roaring trade for its budget carveries.

But it fell on harder times and closed in December 2018.

It was snapped up soon after by Publican Ltd, the firm owned by local businessman Simon Jones which has already rescued The Crown at Worthington and will next be looking to find new uses for the former St John’s Primary School at New Springs.

Originally it was intended to try to revive it as a pub, but it was such a large building that a business partner of Mr Jones suggested it might be better to put it to multiple uses instead.

The girder skeleton of the fitness centre - to be called Studio 360 - has been erected at the back and an area where the beer garden used to be is now occupied by another extension that will be occupied by Scoops Ice Cream and Waffle House which will have off it the party room complete with Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo Switch equipment.

A spokesman for Publican Ltd said: “It requires a lot of imagination to visualise the finished article at the moment but if everything goes to plan we would like to think everything will be open in July or August.

“The upstairs of the main building has been converted into seven individual rooms which are available to rent to local businesses.

“We’ve had interest from hair and beauty businesses, photography studios, physios and retail outlets.

“The rooms will be available at competitive rates and - we think this is particularly significant when so many other businesses struggle - with plenty of on-site parking.

“The businesses will be able to feed off each

other.

“The area has been crying out for something like this.”

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