Sudden change to Wigan Pier landscape

Diggers and chainsaws have brought about a sudden change to the landscape next to Wigan’s evolving Pier buildings.
Laid bare - the land to the west of the former museumLaid bare - the land to the west of the former museum
Laid bare - the land to the west of the former museum

As the Observer showed only a couple of weeks ago, a huge amount of work has been carried out on restoring the exteriors and interiors of the education centre and what used to be The

Orwell and The Way We Were Museum by developer Step Places over the last year. But something relatively cosmetic to have taken place only in recent days may well be proving more eye-catching for Wallgate passers-by.

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A large amount of undergrowth has been cleared away from the garden area to the west of the former museum to reveal rusting pieces of machinery which are set to be salvaged and restored and eventually placed inside the building which is currently being turned into a food hall and distillery while maintaining its historical features.

The long redundant toilet block near to the Seven Stars bridge has been reduced to rubble in the last week showing where a series of town houses are set to be built once the main project is almost done.

The storms having abated, the installation of the last few windows on the buildings has also been taking place, along with the fascia above the main entrance to the “food hall” and all three will very soon be completely weatherproofed.

Step Places, along with its partners The Old Courts and Wigan Council, say that after all the long, perhaps under-appreciated graft of the project thus far, the next month will see it apparently move along much more quickly.

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Fitters are due to move in over the next month and an opening in the autumn is still being predicted.

Meanwhile, the Old Courts is celebrating a £400,000 windfall from the Greater Manchester Culture Fund, set up by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

Jess Rotherham, development manager for The Old Courts, said: “The investment from GMCA will be used to bring Wigan Pier back to life with artistic activity, such as shows, plays and other events that spill out of Wigan Pier to other places - big events that bring people together with a big focus on bringing every community together.

“We are looking at how we can attract not just local people, but people nationally, potentially internationally as well, because it’s got such a big name already.

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“With the GMCA money we will have a focus on that community cohesion, so working with people from different cultures and groups around the borough to create parades, shows and other things like that.”

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