The forthcoming £130m redevelopment project on the site will provide a new retail, leisure, commercial and residential destination in the heart of the town centre, transforming Wigan town centre into a vibrant, attractive and accessible place to live, work, visit and learn.
The Galleries shopping complex is now largely vacant with many businesses having relocated to alternative premises in the town centre and some others having left completely.
To allow Wigan Council and its development partner Cityheart Ltd to secure the site, the gradual closure of unused, vacant areas on the ground and first floor will begin over the next week ahead of demolition works’ starting.
The local authority says that as many public routes as possible will remain open around the Market Hall and Market Square in this interim period before the wrecking balls move in.
This will also include maintaining an open area in the centre of the site to allow external traders to operate as normal outside until the demolition works begin.
A through route for Makinson Arcade between Market Street and Standishgate will be maintained.
Directional wayfinding signage will be installed at closed entrances, to direct shoppers and visitors to the alternative open routes through the site.
Aidan Thatcher, acting director of economy and skills at Wigan Council, said: “Work to deliver the transformational vision for the Galleries site continues at pace.
“The centre is now largely vacant as many businesses have been supported to relocate to alternative premises in the town centre.
"To secure the safety of the site ahead of work starting, we will now begin to close off vacant areas.
“We will ensure key pedestrian routes remain open and are well sign-posted so shoppers can still access Wigan Market and Makinson Arcade as usual.
“The redevelopment of the Galleries plays a huge role in our wider plans to revitalise the town centre, ensuring it is a place where people want to live, work and spend their time, now and in the future.”
The existing Market Hall remains open and will trade in its current location throughout the works, before moving into the new market hall which will be the first new building in the new development to complete.
The redevelopment will see the existing 440,000 sq ft shopping centre transformed to provide:
A multi-media centre comprising a six screen cinema, music and E-sports venue, a 10-lane bowling alley, indoor mini-golf and food and beverage units
Evening entertainment space
A new hotel
A total of 464 residential units
New market hall, including a contemporary foodhall, co-working space and small offices
A re-animated Makinson Arcade
Landscaped public realm square for annual outdoor events
Some 460 car parking spaces located within the existing basement.
A start date for demolition has not yet been set although the fact that it was initially stated that it was to commence in January should not affect the completion date for Galleries25 which is in three years’ time.
For more information about the Galleries25 development visit: www.galleries25.com