Grand proposal still on course for 2014

Tower Grand development artist's impression
Tower Grand development artist's impression

A YEAR since plans were unveiled for a major hotel complex in Wigan town centre, developers have insisted the project remains on track.

The Tower Grand unit – including retail space, restaurants and an 80-bed hotel – is the final phase of the Grand Arcade development and was initially hoped to be completed at the end of 2014.

When details of the plans emerged this time last year, the project was said to be set to revitalise the town centre.

Since then, ambitious plans to redevelop the Galleries and areas at the opposite end of the town centre to the Grand Arcade have been announced.

But William McAlister, of Scarborough Development Group, told the Evening Post said that preparations for the Tower Grand project were going according to plan and details will be finalised soon.

He said: “The original proposal for the 80 bed hotel and ground floor retail leisure unit amounting to about 15,700 sq ft is still progressing.

“We have been talking to a number of hotel operators, who have all expressed a strong interest in opening a hotel in Wigan.

“Over the last 12 months we have narrowed this down to one hotelier and we’re currently working on the final proposals with the operator.

“This will then allow us to target occupiers for the ground floor retail leisure unit and we will be able to announce the plans for the whole development.”

The hotel is expected to generate around 40 full-time and 15 part-time roles and the plans include a 20 space car park for the site off Millgate and River Way.

By the time the Tower Grand complex opens – if building works go according to schedule – it will mean two hotels within a short distance of each other with Premier Inn set to open on the site of the former police station on Harrogate Street.

Town centre manager Mike Matthews had welcomed the proposals saying the complex would help the local economy and contribute to keeping the town centre “alive after five.”

In November, the developers Vale Retail announced that plans for a £60m overhaul of the town centre including redeveloping the Galleries shopping centre, relocating Wigan market and redesigning the street plan.