Regeneration hopes for town centre site

Coun Molyneux by the old gas works site
Coun Molyneux by the old gas works site

A town hall chief has welcomed the future development opportunities created by the demolition of two huge gas holders in Wigan town centre.

Coun David Molyneux, deputy leader of Wigan Council, hailed the razing of the unsightly landmarks off Darlington Street by the National Grid. They date back to the 1930s and have been unused since 2011.

As portfolio holder for regeneration and local ward councillor for Ince, Coun Molyneux has been pushing for their removal for years.

He said: “I would describe the gas holders as being a necessary blot on the landscape for many years. Now they are finally being removed we have a really exciting opportunity for new development in this key part of town.

“The presence of the gas infrastructure has been a major constraint on redevelopment opportunities.

“This location is close to the town centre and key road links as well as being close to the west coast mainline. Once the demolition and removal of the infrastructure is complete we look forward to helping to move this site forward and realising its potential.”

The containers, next to Chapel Lane car park, are being dismantled as part of a programme by the National Grid. Gas holders are no longer required due to investments made to improve the national network, meaning gas can be stored in the pipe system or underground.

Historically the site formed part of the much larger Wigan Gasworks where coal gas was first produced in 1823. Coal gas production was in operation at the site until the 1970s when the majority of the gasworks buildings and infrastructure were decommissioned.

The creation of 10,000 jobs and 10,000 homes over the next decade is a central part of the authority’s Economic Prospectus and the redevelopment of brownfield land is a priority. For more on development opportunities visit www.wiganworks.com