Lack of security around abandoned mill is a risk

Firefighters at the scene of a fire at the former Pagefield College derelict building, Bridgeman Terrace
Firefighters at the scene of a fire at the former Pagefield College derelict building, Bridgeman Terrace

KICKED-IN fences and a lack of security measures around an abandoned mill building are prompting safety concerns for a Wigan councillor.

A perimeter fence around the Pagefield Campus - adjacent to Mesnes Park - had been shored up following a major fire on the site in March.

But holes are now visible and Coun George Davies is fearful the summer months could bring further trouble at the building dubbed a “death-trap” by fire bosses.

Coun Davies is calling for security signs and extra fences. He told the Evening Post: “Our main concern is for the safety of our residents and the thousands of people who visit Mesnes Park through the summer. The two openings joining onto the park need blocking off.

“We need to warn intruders not to go on the site, I have reported the matter to council officials as an important safety issue.” The former Rylands Mill, which was once a former part of Wigan and Leigh College, has been the site of anti-social behaviour and blazes over recent years.

The latest fire in March meant fire crews had to close nearby roads and residents were hit by low water pressure as more than 40 officers tackled the blaze.

Council bosses are in talks with the building’s owners, Pagefield Properties, about what action can be taken about the site, which had previously been earmarked for a new housing complex. Last year, after a spate of fires, borough commander Steve Sheridan said his officers were being put at risk entering the vast multi-storey building.

Allan Foster, vice chair of the Friends of Mesnes Park group, said: “A more thorough report on the building from the council to the owner is needed and what he intends to do with it. But we support Coun Davies that the Pagefield building site needs to be fully secured and warning signs erected.”