Haigh Hall masterplan could bring 'important economic benefits' to Wigan

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Major plans to transform Haigh Hall into an arts, culture and heritage visitor destination could bring “important economic benefits” to Wigan.

That is the verdict of Coun David Molyneux, leader of Wigan Council, who hopes the Government will approve a bid for £20m for the project.

As revealed exclusively yesterday the masterplan could see the grade II*-listed building house an art gallery with Wigan artist Theodore Major’s £200m collection.

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There would also be space for weddings and other events, a bunker cinema, cellar bar, terrace café, rooftop celestial bar, restaurant and more.

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The council is now drawing up an application for money from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund and Coun Molyneux hopes it will be approved.

He said: “We were extremely disappointed to miss out on Levelling Up funding last year, particularly as the borough was identified as a ‘priority place’.

“The plans for Haigh Hall will bring important economic benefits to the borough through our Community Wealth Building programme, with local contractors helping us to transform the building and local employment opportunities available.

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Haigh HallHaigh Hall
Haigh Hall

“All three of the bids being submitted on behalf of the borough have strong business cases and I hope the Government appreciates and recognises that this time round.”

The masterplan comes after the council took back control of Haigh Hall from a hotel operator last year and follows consultation with the public.

In total 764 people shared their memories and gave their thoughts on how they would like the building to be used.

Coun Chris Ready, the council’s cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “Haigh Hall belongs to the people of Wigan and since bringing the hall back under the council’s control we are doing everything we can to protect the hall for our future generations, which includes securing funding.

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Coun David MolyneuxCoun David Molyneux
Coun David Molyneux

“I’d like to thank everyone who came along to share their stories and ideas last autumn. I think the masterplan really captures the feedback; bringing everyone’s ideas to life to ensure people can enjoy the hall and the new treasures within it.”

Haigh Hall will be open from 11am to 3pm between Friday, May 13 and Sunday, May 15 and Friday, May 20 to Sunday, May 22 for people to find out more about the masterplan and have their say.