Work gets started again on Wigan Nando’s project

Work has resumed on constructing of one, possibly two, big name food outlets at Wigan’s Robin Retail Park.

Saturday, 6th June 2020, 7:00 am
Construction has resumed on the Nandos at Robin Park

Work has resumed on constructing of one, possibly two, big name food outlets at Wigan’s Robin Retail Park.

After a frustrating two-month recess due to the Covid-19 lockdown, workers have returned to carry on building the town’s first Nando’s.

The steel skeleton which is the first to appear on the site, though, is for the second, smaller premises being built in the middle of the carpark.

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It is rumoured to be yet another branch for successful bakery chain Gregg’s, even though it has outlets nearby at the service station at Marsh Green and even inside Asda next door to Robin Park.

Work began on the project early in the year and, with military precision, a June 8 opening date was set.

But coronavirus threw all that out of the window and developers are wary of observing too severe a deadline now because so many variables remain after the Prime Minister announced last month that construction sites could re-open.

David Wilcock, site manager for principal contractor RFM, said: “I am pleased to say that work has resumed on the Robin Retail Park site after a two-month break.

“We started early last week but for 10 days before that we were there making changes so everything conforms to social-distancing and other Covid-related safety guidelines. Exits and entries have been changed and we have improved sterilisation facilities.

“The steel work has now gone up on the second building which will be the most noticeable development.

“Clearly our completion date of June 8 is no longer possible, so we are now looking at the middle to the end of September. We can’t be too strict with timings though because of the prevailing conditions.

“We have had problems with suppliers being furloughed so there will be drags and it will not be the smooth, predictable process that we usually expect. For example, we cannot at the moment get test results for our concrete strength (cubes are cut from our foundations and sent off) because the people who do it are furloughed.”

The site will also include a seating area and room for pop-up shops for special occasions such as Christmas markets.

Some residents have bemoaned the fact that Nando’s hasn’t opted for Wigan town centre instead and there have also been complaints about the loss of car parking spaces, but developers point out that once the project is done and some spaces currently used by the workers are returned to use, it will still have more parking than most retail parks.