'Rogue' advert on property site stating that Wigan Pier is ‘under offer’ causes confusion

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A historic advert on a property website stating that the world-famous Wigan Pier was “under offer” caused a stir on social media.

However, it has now emerged that the ad was posted by mistake.

The disused landmark of Wigan Pier was originally marketed through Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) and an old entry was put on its website, which was subsequently re-posted on other commercial property sites.

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The ad prompted speculation on social media given that the site – made famous by George Orwell’s book The Road to Wigan Pier – has long been the subject of a regeneration plan that appears to have stalled.

The buildings at the Wigan Pier development, Wallgate, Wigan.The buildings at the Wigan Pier development, Wallgate, Wigan.
The buildings at the Wigan Pier development, Wallgate, Wigan.
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The ad, which featured an old picture of the historic landmark, has now been taken down after LSH was contacted.

But questions remain over what is happening at the site, many years after proposals to breathe new life into it were first unveiled.

The developer Step Places said the site was not for sale and that potential tenants were “lined up”, but “legal processes” were holding up an announcement.

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L-R Chief Executive of Wigan Council, Alison McKenzie-Folan, Step Places managing director Harinder Dhaliwal, GMCA night-time economy advisor, Sacha Lord, Leader of Wigan Council, David Molyneux and David Proctor assistant director for planning regeneration Wigan council, on a tour of Wigan Pier buildings last October.L-R Chief Executive of Wigan Council, Alison McKenzie-Folan, Step Places managing director Harinder Dhaliwal, GMCA night-time economy advisor, Sacha Lord, Leader of Wigan Council, David Molyneux and David Proctor assistant director for planning regeneration Wigan council, on a tour of Wigan Pier buildings last October.
L-R Chief Executive of Wigan Council, Alison McKenzie-Folan, Step Places managing director Harinder Dhaliwal, GMCA night-time economy advisor, Sacha Lord, Leader of Wigan Council, David Molyneux and David Proctor assistant director for planning regeneration Wigan council, on a tour of Wigan Pier buildings last October.

Step Places said last year that it wanted to “engage with the wider market for the best possible opportunity” for the regeneration scheme.

This was after it announced it had parted company with its original partner The Old Courts and had put the operator role out to tender again.

This was explained at the time as due to a post-pandemic surge in alternative offers from national event companies.

While in the long run it might mean that the end products at the canalside buildings were more ambitious than before, it also meant that another completion deadline – the latest being for last autumn – came and went on a project first unveiled in 2018 with a finish date given as 12 months later.

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The 'rogue' advert has now been withdrawnThe 'rogue' advert has now been withdrawn
The 'rogue' advert has now been withdrawn

Major structural issues, a pandemic and a subsequent struggle to find suitable contractors and fixed prices due to workload backlogs and galloping inflation all conspired to thwart those ambitions.

A Wigan Council spokesperson said: “We remain committed to delivering the Wigan Pier development and are working to progress works on this iconic part of our local heritage.”

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