This Wigan community hub is breathing new life into a derelict precinct

A community hub is hoping a trio of low cost shops will help revive a Wigan precinct.

Sunshine House is at the heart of plans to regenerate Scholes Precinct, an area which has seen a huge drop in footfall and the disappearance of almost every shop in recent years.

Elizabeth Heaton, Elaine Wilson, Charlotte Young and Tina K; Elaine Wilson, manager of the new Sunshine Mums Babies & Tots store

Elizabeth Heaton, Elaine Wilson, Charlotte Young and Tina K; Elaine Wilson, manager of the new Sunshine Mums Babies & Tots store

But the community hub in nearby Wellington Street has been doing its utmost to curtail and even reverse that decline, operating three shops on the precinct which could be the key to ensuring a bright future for the area.

Sunshine House acts as a community hub for residents, offering a range of services under one roof, including financial advice sessions provided for social housing tenants.

It recently launched a mum, babies and tots shop on the precinct, adding to the existing charity shop and pantry which opened late in 2018, and the team hopes the success of the shops will entice more businesses to help resurrect the Scholes area.

Elizabeth Heaton, general manager, said: “The precinct is very quiet.

Tina K the manager of the Sunshine Charity Shop

Tina K the manager of the Sunshine Charity Shop

“There are no shops here, but now we’ve got three on there so hopefully some more shops may open.

“It’s gone from having nothing at all, and hopefully these shops will bring the community back together, and bring them out.”

She added: “The charity shop is purely donations from the public.

“We launder all the clothing and sell them to the public at really good prices.

Charlotte Young, manager of the Sunshine Pantry

Charlotte Young, manager of the Sunshine Pantry

“The baby shop, which has just opened, again that’s donations but we also get things from In Kind direct.

“They give us nappies for really cheap prices, and other baby products.”

Charlotte Young, manager of the Sunshine House pantry which charges just £2 a year for access, said: “Once you’ve gained your membership, you can come in and purchase varieties of Heinz tins, you have fresh fruit and vegetables coming from Aldi, fresh we have bread from Hovis, toothpaste, and toiletries.

“We have a gluten free range for anyone that’s intolerant.

“We have baby food and all different kinds of stuff to help the families.”

Tina K manages the charity shop. She said: “We do well here, especially for unemployed families.

“We do something called a walk-in wardrobe for people who can’t afford a full suit for interviews.

“They can come in and get a full suit for next to nothing.

To find out more about Sunshine House, visit sunshinehousecommunitycentre.com or call the centre on 01942 820026.