Top performance venue will give Wigan the edge
After years of hoping that a new centre for entertainment could be built in the town, it has now become a reality.
Today’s Community Church held a special service at the hall last Sunday to open the venue at its newly-named site The Edge, on Southgate, Wigan.
The building is the new home for the church and services will be held there.
But it will also be open to other people and organisations to use for many different purposes, such as music, comedy, exhibitions and other entertainment.
Business manager Annette Burton said: “We are relieved to have got to this point. It’s been a huge effort not only for our contractors, but also from people in the church pulling together doing different stuff to make it come together.
“It was really special at the opening ceremony. We had special music pieces composed especially for the event, a little film expressing the journey we have been on and some guest speakers from around the North West.”
Ben Tarbuck, a member of the church’s leadership team, said: “I feel immensely proud of the church. We have managed to achieve so much.”
A new performance venue for Wigan is something that has been talked about for years. After council plans failed to get off the ground, Dave Belfield, senior leader of the church, took the idea to the congregation in 2008.
Planning and fund-raising got under way and construction work started in May last year. The new building has a large hall with enough space for 1,000 seats, a stage, a large state-of-the-art LED screen, lighting rig, PA system and sound desk.
Performers can access a backstage area and there is even a green room with a sofa.
The venue has been designed to be suitable for many different uses. Mrs Burton said: “It’s a very flexible space which we hope will lend itself to lots of different uses that will benefit the town.”
Now that the doors have opened, there are many possibilities for how the venue could be used. It has previously been mentioned that bands could perform in Wigan between tour dates at larger venues in Manchester or Liverpool, or well-known names from years gone by could host shows there.
Mrs Burton said: “We have got quite a lot of interest. We have a couple of provisional bookings around the corporate side of things.
“We have got some definite interest for next year for concerts but it is at the very early stages. It’s definitely very positive interest.”