Plans to create more town centre homes

The former Victoria Hotel in Wallgate now has apartments
The former Victoria Hotel in Wallgate now has apartments

A major study focusing on residential opportunities in Wigan town centre will launch in the new year.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is making town centre regeneration one of the central planks of his administration. And Wigan Council can be at the forefront of such efforts as the Mayor’s Town Centre Challenge after landing a study grant from the Local Government Association.

Several buildings in central Wigan have successfully been converted into housing, including the former Victoria Hotel in Wallgate and the old technical college in King Street West. Earlier this year the authority confirmed an £850,000 investment into redeveloping the Tower Buildings, also in Wallgate, which have been earmarked for 20 flats plus offices.

Under the assistance programme, the capacity for further schemes in the town centre will be assessed.

Council assistant director for growth and housing Marie Bintley said: “We’re committed to ensuring our town centres are vibrant and we are continuously looking for growth opportunities. This led us to submit an expression of interest to the LGA for support in undertaking a study on the Wigan town centre residential market.

"Our proposal was accepted and we have been offered a grant to contribute to the study, which will inform us on the opportunities and barriers to housing growth. This is a cost-effective solution to improve our understanding and complements our masterplan and Andy Burnham’s plan to identify opportunities to regenerate town centres.”