Eyesore shops set for revamp

Winstanley shopping precinct which has been recently purchased by a new company
Winstanley shopping precinct which has been recently purchased by a new company

ONE of Wigan’s biggest eyesores is set for major improvements this year after being pulled out of receivership.

Winstanley Shopping Park has been acquired by Altrincham-based Hollins Murray Group, which says it plans to completely re-vamp the crumbling centre.

It brings to an end the fears of tenants whose futures have been uncertain for some time now.

They have been promised huge improvements to the appearance of the 11-unit centre which has become more unsightly over the years.

But Hollins Murray Group’s chief executive Nick Casson has promised that things are about to change and says that the centre is now on the way up.

He said: “I was down there on Monday again and one thing is for sure, we will be improving it. We’ll probably look at building a couple more units too and totally brighten the place up.

“When I first got to hear about it, I saw some pictures of the centre and they looked awful. We expected it to be a run down area and I got there and the only issue was the centre itself, Winstanley has a lot to offer with two schools nearby and a really nice neighbourhood.”

The 12,000 sq ft neighbourhood centre includes tenants such as the Co-operative and Boots.

One of the units which has been unoccupied for some time is now close to being filled after three offers.

The group says it has had advanced discussions with one of the interested parties and a deal could be close.

The shopping park itself was sold to HMG by PWC as receivers, who said there was strong competition from prospective purchasers due to the neglected state of the centre and scope for improvement.

HMG beat 10 other bidders and plans to remodel and extend the centre are ongoing.

Mr Casson refused to disclose the exact amount the company had purchased the centre for but said that someone from HMG would be on site each day.

He added: “The first thing we did was go down and speak to the tenants. For the past two or three years they have been tearing their hair out and they all spoke about how bad it has been for them. The only way is up now though.”