Covid remembrance plans for Wigan take a step forward

Wigan Council’s plans to establish permanent places of reflection are taking shape as the borough prepares to mark the national day of remembrance for Covid-19.

By Sian Jones
Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 1:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 11:18 am

Along with organisations across the UK, the council was recognising the second anniversary of the initial lockdown on March 23.

Announced last year, the local authority held a consultation on proposals to ensure residents have places to acknowledge the sacrifices and contributions made during the pandemic and remember those who are no longer with us.

Leigh’s Lilford Park and Mesnes Park Playing Field (behind Wigan Youth Zone) in Wigan have emerged as potential locations for two main Places of Remembrance and Reflection, supplemented by additional offers across the borough, with talks of a memorial tree to be planted in each of the 25 wards.

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Leader of Wigan Council, Coun David Molyneux, said: “I would like to thank each and every individual who contributed to the consultation as this is such an important project.

“Your feedback will guide our plans to mark the inspirational contributions made during the pandemic and pay tribute to the tragic losses our residents will have endured.

“We know that linking these remembrance sites to our borough’s wonderful greenspaces was an important part of the feedback.”

In July 2021, Wigan Council unveiled stars on Believe Square in Wigan and outside Leigh Town Hall honouring the contributions of NHS, health and social care staff and key-workers.

Further details of the Places of Reflection will be announced through 2022 with collaboration with local communities planned on what is offered in each ward, whether it’s a site, event or activity.

Lisa Keys from Minerva Heritage who oversaw the consultation, said: “The responses revealed stories of fear, anger, loss and sadness whilst at the same time highlighting the resilience, positivity and hope of the people of the Wigan borough.

“Tears were shed at the same time as people’s efforts were praised. I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories and for being so generous and honest with thoughts and comments, especially in light of the difficult experiences they have gone through, and continue to live through.”

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