A TOWN centre shop will be transformed into an exciting creative, artistic and heritage hub for Leigh when it opens its doors this week.
The unit on Market Street will become a facility for several community groups including the borough’s first hackspace, the team renovating a landmark historic building and a successful band.
The shop opposite the town hall will be officially launched with a ceremony on Friday afternoon after Tyldesley community interest company (CIC) Cadence took on the licence.
The building will be managed by the Leigh Building Preservation Trust (LBPT) which is currently planning to transform the Grade II-listed Leigh Spinners Mill into a massive retail and leisure destination for the town. The Trust will display the plans for the mill’s future and provide somewhere to update residents on developments.
The newly-created Leigh Hackspace, set up by GP Marcus Baw, will also be moving into the Market Street location.
Hackspaces are open access sites for people to try out or practice craft or arts skills which they do not have room to do at home.
Hackspaces across the country provide places for people to do everything from metalwork and woodwork to painting and sculpture, and the Leigh facility will also make cutting-edge technology such as 3D printing available to residents.
Celebrated Leigh band The Lottery Winners, who have supported the likes of pianist Jamie Cullum as well as appeared at major events across Wigan borough, will also be calling the community shop home.
The Old Leigh Photos Heritage Group, which has grown to more than 7,000 members online, will also be using the shop to display its photos of the town’s past and hopes some of its selection will be made available for sale.
Organisers hope the community hub will also have a community noticeboard and meeting rooms for up to 16 people which can be rented out.
The official launch of the new unit at 25 Market Street is on Friday February 13 at 3pm. For more information, search for Leigh Building Preservation Trust (LBPT) or Leigh Hackspace on Facebook.