HOPEFUL firms flocked to Wigan Town Hall in a bid to be part of its massive refurbishment.
More than 70 company representatives were at the meeting with the main contractor tasked with the building’s £6m transformation, ISG.
Council chiefs say the town hall revamp, set to begin in November, will save council taxpayers millions of pounds and provide jobs and training opportunities for local people.
Feedback from the gathering was positive. Mike Sharkey, senior contract manager for Truline Construction in Wigan, said: “I found the event extremely useful. It gave us the opportunity to meet the people involved and to see whether our services may be of use on the project.
“Employing local people and creating apprenticeships is something Truline Construction already holds close to its heart, so it’s good to know ISG is also committed to giving something back to the local community.”
In addition to meeting senior members of ISG’s project delivery team, representatives from the council plus Wigan and Leigh College were also on hand to answer questions on the project and to discuss local employment and apprenticeship initiatives in the area.
Authority deputy leader Coun David Molyneux said: “One of the key elements of this transformation programme is to ensure that the local community benefit. We’d like to see local companies working on this project and taking advantage of the economic opportunities available.”
Once complete, the number of staff based at the Town Hall will more than double, from 250 to 600, and will save the council £1m per year in overall running costs.
The modernisation programme will see a significant reduction in the number of council buildings, from 24 to four – adding to the savings.
Current running costs for 24 buildings and a back log of maintenance work is no longer viable for the council.
The project will be complete by March 2015.