Long-awaited plans to transformic iconic but neglected buildings at Wigan Pier have been unveiled.
Canal-side walkways, waterside town houses, an artisan food hall with conference and events venues are all part of the planning proposal that has been submitted for the future of Wigan Pier by Manchester developer, Step Places.
Subject to planning approval the development will see Step Places, The Old Courts, Wigan Council and the Canal and River Trust work together to transform the currently disused 18th century industrial buildings into a vibrant cultural destination for both locals and visitors, which is an important part of Wigan Council’s masterplan and vision for the future of the town.
A new gin distillery and microbrewery will be created on the site of the old The Way Way Were museum along with an impressive food hall, with spaces for café, bar & deli retailers, with decorative glass features and a large space for seating on the ground and mezzanine floors.
The former Orwell public house will become an impressive waterside events venue hosting weddings, exhibitions, conferences and much more and the former education centre will be brought back to life with renewed focus on community integration and cultural workshops and classes.
The development will also include new housing creating attractive living spaces, with beautiful town houses featuring canal facing gardens and parking.
New public realm has been designed to encourage people to visit the area and spend quality time outdoors while enhancing the waterways and outside spaces.
Harry Dhaliwal, Managing Director of Step Places, said: “There are huge plans for the future of Wigan and the town centre and we are honoured to be a part of it. We believe we are bringing something completely different to the area and our vision is to ensure that Wigan Pier becomes an iconic destination again that people want to live in and visit for years to come. It’s an exciting step for the whole team and we are looking forward to driving the project forward.”
Becca Heron, director of economy and skills at Wigan Council said: “This planning submission is a significant step forward in realising our collaborative plans for the Pier.
“The range of uses Step Places have outlined is exciting and the proposals are wholly in line with our recently released Strategic Regeneration Framework, which is a blueprint for the future of our town centre.
“We’re working hard to develop a new offer that will attract visitors that includes culture, leisure, employment and residential uses.“We understand the importance Wigan Pier has to local people and it has been a long-term ambition to make the most of these buildings and transform them into a multi-use experiential destination.
“We will continue to work closely with Step Places and The Old Courts to deliver this project so we can bring Wigan Pier back to life once more.”
Jonathan Davenport, Director of The Old Courts who will be the main operator of the old museum, The Orwell and the education centre, said: “We are very grateful of the opportunity to become the operator of such a prestigious and renowned site. For many years now, Wigan Pier has been either under used or totally empty.
“It’s a great leap forward to be collaborating with Step Places and Wigan Council. All three parties are wholly committed to the project and we feel The Old Courts background in arts and culture can deliver something to transform the site and make it a bona fide destination as it was in years gone by.
Ian Sprott, from the Canal & River Trust, added: “We are delighted the regeneration of Wigan Pier is taking a leap forwards with the submission of a planning application. The Leeds & Liverpool Canal flows through the centre of this exciting proposed development and will provide a wonderful focal point for new waterfront homes and businesses.”
The planning proposal will now go in front of Wigan Council with a decision expected this summer. Subject to planning approval, the scheme would be finished in 2020.