Popular boss at Wigan shopping centre retires

He has brought a 15-year stint working in the town centre to an end.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 4:45 am
John Sanson, who has retired from his role as centre manager at the Grand Arcade

John Sanson had his final day as centre manager at the Grand Arcade on Tuesday.

He has been in charge at the shopping centre almost since day one, having initially taken on his new role during the construction phase several months before the first customers were welcomed through the doors.

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He said: “I’ve been in the work market for 48 years and never been unemployed. I’m 65 now so I’ve decided to retire. I’ve got a lot of things I want to do. I’ve been thinking about it for a while.

“There were a lot of factors, both personal and professional, and with the retail situation I decided it was the right time.

“My 15 years in Wigan have been great because of the people.

“They are brilliant and have been the best thing about working here. I’ve made a lot of friends here over the years so I will definitely keep in touch.”

Mr Sanson said his proudest achievement was getting the Grand Arcade open on time in March 2007.

He has also been at the helm for some extremely tough times, including working in the days after the horrific terrorist bombing at Manchester Arena.

He says that despite the continuing difficulties around online shopping and the fear of the impact of Covid on retail he is confident people will still want to go shopping and that the Grand Arcade has a positive future.

Mr Sanson’s retirement was greeted with sadness by civic leaders.

Coun David Molyneux, leader of Wigan Council, said: “The enormous impact John has had on the Grand Arcade will be remembered for a long time to come.

“On behalf of all at Wigan Council, we would like to wish John a very happy retirement.”

Council chief executive Alison McKenzie-Folan said: “Over the decades, John has been an amazing ambassador for both Wigan town centre and the borough.

“We are very grateful for his years of dedication and commitment.”

Centre manager at The Galleries, Simon Tucker, said: “John has been a huge support and help in finding my feet and introducing me to the different stakeholders within Wigan town centre. He will be hugely missed. Best of luck in a well-deserved retirement.”

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