LUKE MARSDEN: Doubts over latest Haigh Hall masterplan
There’s no better place in Wigan to go for a head-clearing walk than Haigh Woodland Park.
The actual walk from my house in Whelley to Haigh Hall via the Whelley Loop Line is around 2.5 miles and I’d challenge anyone to show me a better walking route in our town.
Last weekend my friend came across from Manchester for a long overdue catch-up.
As we’ve hit autumn, Haigh Hall is in peak Instagram-worthy mode, so I recommended we ventured up there.
Most Wiganers know of the plight that Haigh Hall has gone through over the last few years.
I actually had my school leavers’ do there, as did many Wiganers and it’s a tragedy to see the once, great historic hall standing unused.
The council has pledged a £37.5m rejuvenation project that will be developed to given Haigh Hall a new lease of life.
I’m filled with scepticism: we’ve heard some big talk previously on turning Haigh Hall into a state-of-the-art hotel that would attract international visitors.
Forget visitors from overseas: we need to focus on getting Wiganers visiting it first.
We’re in for a bumpy ride this autumn and winter once the cost of living crisis really starts to bite.
We’ll have less money to do the things we love so we’ll need to be creative in what we do.
This is where the beauty of Haigh Hall and the Woodland Park can come in.
At present walking and fresh air is free and there’s nothing better than a walk in the crisp autumnal air.
My friend and I called for ice creams and admired the golf club and toured the grounds, before departing back.
As an out-of-towner she asked why more people don’t visit Haigh Hall as it’s on our doorstep?
The answer is faith. A lack of faith that anything will actually get done to transform it back to its former (and even greater glory).
But we’ve all got to have a little faith!