New-look Wigan town centre begins to take shape as work gets under way
Work has begun on a regeneration project which will change the heart of Wigan.
The bulk of Market Place has now been fenced off as a prelude to 10 weeks of changes which intend to make the space more user-friendly as far as holding open air events is concerned.
Other news: Double Wigan killer Darren Pilkington back behind barsIt is the second overhaul in the last two decades. A previous one did away with the underground public conveniences and created steps and pallisade walls.
But while attractive, the features have been an obstacle to events involving large crowds and/or features.
The work includes the replacement of existing benches, additional seating, recycling bins, installation of planters, trees and flowers, cycle parking facilities and lowering of the walled area.
Construction company North Midland Construction PLC, has been chosen by the town hall to deliver the plans.
Council chiefs say the improvements will be in keeping with the style of Wallgate and have been developed to be more accommodating to major town centre events including the Wigan 10k, Wigan Pride and the continental markets.
Leader Coun David Molyneux said: “Wigan Council is committed to supporting the continued vitality of its town centres which is why we have invested money into both Wigan and Leigh over the last 12 months.
“The new Market Place in Wigan will deliver a much improved environment for visitors and businesses and as a place for events and leisure activities.
"We listened to public feedback last year and have used this information to shape the plans.
“We recognise that our town centres are so much more a social space than they used to be which is why we have created a design to complement events and to provide a welcoming focal point.
“Our town centres are hugely important both as shopping destinations for many thousands of people and as places that support hundreds of businesses and employers. We will continue to look into the ways we can further improve and increase footfall.”
The new Market Place will provide an attractive meeting point, good seating area and aims to reduce reports of anti-social behaviour. It will also create a more usable and flexible space for performances and events including markets, fairs, music concerts and more.
Geoff Poyzer, Managing Director for the Highways Division at North Midland Construction PLC said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious project for Wigan Council."