Wiganers have donated an incredible £42,500 to make a new musical written in the borough about the life of George Orwell a reality.
The crowd-funding campaign for Beyond Wigan Pier, the brainchild of Ince-based musician Alan Gregory, has been hailed a massive success.
The drive for support sailed through its initial goal and has also beaten an extended target.
Impressively the final sum raised will be even higher once corporate sponsorship is taken into account.
The show will have its premiere later this month in a concert production at the venue at The Edge.
Alan is hoping the strength of public enthusiasm for the project will now help to convince major funding bodies to support a full theatrical production in 2020.
He is particularly thrilled by the community backing as it fits perfectly with his vision for the show of a fully-fledged musical entirely created by and for ordinary residents of the borough.
Alan said: “It’s a huge amount of money and we are highly delighted with the level of interest the people of Wigan have shown.
“We have brought the business world, the world of local government and communities together, which is exactly what this project is all about.
“It proves our model works and that people are buying into the idea. This whole community project is not just about a musical, it’s far more than that.
“It’s getting the people of Wigan to realise they too can be part of something like this and it’s about all helping each other to pull off a big project.”
Alan has secured considerable political support for the project with the latest backer being Leigh MP Jo Platt. Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham will narrate scenes in the play and council chief executive Donna hall is also a backer.