A regeneration project in the heart of Wigan town centre will be almost complete this weekend, just in time for Run Wigan Festival.
The project, delivered by Wigan Council’s contractor nmcn, has seen a host of improvements carried out on Market Place.
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The work includes new benches, recycling bins, planters, trees and flowers, and cycle parking facilities.
The walled area has been lowered and the floor was repaved.
A history board is also being installed to give shoppers an insight into the background of the area.
The council says the improvements are in keeping with the style of Wallgate and have been developed to compliment major town centre events, including Run Wigan Festival, Wigan 10k and Wigan Pride.
It is hoped Market Place will provide an attractive meeting point, good seating area and a more usable and flexible space for performances and events.
Most of the work has been completed ahead of Sunday’s races, but some minor paving work will need to be carried out next week due to recent bad weather.
Council leader Coun David Molyneux said: “We are committed to supporting the continued vitality of our town centres as we recognise that they are used in different ways by different residents and visitors.
“Town centres are so much more a social space than they used to be which is why we have created a design to compliment events and to provide a welcoming focal point. The benches we have replaced have been moved to Mesnes Park for further use, providing even more seating for walkers and families.
“We are confident that this new design will support the shopping experience and will benefit local businesses.”
The first people to see the revamped Market Place were also able to visit international markets, which were set up on Market Place yesterday and run until Sunday.
Geoff Poyzer, managing director for the highways division at nmcn said: “This has been a fantastic project to deliver and we are extremely proud of the results.
“We’ve built some great relationships with local businesses including A&R Recycling, who provided recycling services, and Bollard Street Ltd, who provided street furniture. This is in addition to working with the Wigan branches of Speedy Hire, Breedon Concrete and J Barker paving. They have helped us to deliver this project in a timely and professional manner.”