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Council planning chiefs have thanked the public for input into consultations about Wigan town centre.

More than 200 people talked to planners at recent Grand Arcade public events and told them what they rated and hated about the town.

They were seeking views on the Wigan Central Area Action Plan, which looks at what new development is required, where this should be located and how it will be delivered and funded. A similar exercise will be undertaken in the future for proposed Leigh and Ashton Area Action Plans.

Top hates were the derelict appearance of the old town hall and the former police station; and the decline of parts of the Galleries and Marketgate centres; they also hated the lack of leisure and youth facilities within the centre.

Many people commented on the need to improve the station frontages, as they offer visitors their first impression of the town – and which the plan is scheduled to look closely at. And there were a number of comparisons between Wigan and town centres in Warrington and Bolton – both favourably and unfavourably.

In response, planners are talking to major landowners and businesses about the future of the town centre. They still want to hear from the public too about exactly what they want their town centre to be.