AN OLD and run-down piece of Wigan town centre could soon be revamped with a new residential and leisure scheme.
Lancashire architecture and design practice Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) has submitted plans to Wigan Council to improve 7-9 King Street – in the heart of the town’s conservation area.
The project, on behalf of leading developer Greenbank Partnerships, will include the restoration of the major architectural features of the Grade II listed buildings.
The ground floor has been designed as an up-market wine bar, with two apartments created for urban living on the floors above.
The premises were previously a solicitor’s office and a Sue Ryder Shop but have not been used for seven years.
Nick Wiley, who is leading the FWP project team, said: “We have been working closely with Wigan Council’s heritage team on this project and we believe our restoration plans for 7-9 King Street will greatly improve the appearance and character of the area.
“The aim is to create a high-standard wine bar space on the ground floor, with modern, spacious living accommodation on the floors above.
“Greenbank Partnerships is a local company, committed to Wigan and the area, and with a strong desire to see this part of King Street regenerated and improved for the community.
“Our brief was to give a new lease of life to a dilapidated building and we believe the plans we have submitted will do that.
“On a wider level, the project can kick-start the renewal of the overall street scene along King Street by providing an example and an incentive for further, needed improvements in the area.”
John Simpson, of Greenbank Partnerships, said: “We are delighted with the plans FWP has designed to breathe new life into these town centre buildings and to point the way towards improving the look and feel of King Street.
“Our aim is to transform these run-down buildings, whilst retaining the history and enhancing the character of the area.
“Both the bar area proposed and the living accommodation above it will be stylish and upmarket.”
Ian Rowan, Wallgate townscape heritage initiative project officer at Wigan Council, said: “Greenbank Partnerships has brought in FWP to focus on the major repair works and remodelling of the exterior of the dilapidated building that will be required – whilst retaining its Georgian style and character.
“Wigan Council and partners continue to invest in the urban landscape and recent work has seen £1.2m Heritage Lottery scheme in this area.
“We are pleased to see the new plans are sympathetic to the aims of the town centre conservation area and we support the application.”
Coun David Molyneux, deputy leader and cabinet champion for economic and regeneration, said: “It is another sign of people’s confidence that Wigan is the place to invest.
“Hopefully it will entice others to do the same.”
FWP worked closely with Greenbank Partnerships to develop Leigh Sports Village, which opened in 2009.