Wigan mall to host huge food and drink festival

Left to right: Jack Flusk (Barbie Boys), Max Giannoni (Travelling Pizza Company), Coun Molyneux, Victoria Nichol (The Galleries centre manager) and Eleanor Healy (Event organiser, Haigh Foodie Friday)
Left to right: Jack Flusk (Barbie Boys), Max Giannoni (Travelling Pizza Company), Coun Molyneux, Victoria Nichol (The Galleries centre manager) and Eleanor Healy (Event organiser, Haigh Foodie Friday)

Something very tasty is coming to Wigan town centre next week.

The council has teamed up with Haigh Foodie Friday to arrange for a free food and drink festival to be held in The Galleries on Saturday, September 22, with stalls serving a range of products from pizza, halloumi and sushi to gin, prosecco and milkshakes.

It’s the latest in a series of major events being held in the struggling shopping centre to raise its profile since the council bought it back from owners in the hope of giving it a new lease of life.

Promising to bring vibrancy and footfall, the Food Fest on the Square event also links with the local authority’s plan to develop a new offer for the town centre.

Council leader David Molyneux said: “The ongoing event at Haigh Woodland Park is always a huge success, so we’re glad to be working with Haigh Foodie Friday to bring a similar offer into the town centre.

“We know that people like to come to the town centre but habits are changing, so we need to diversify our offer to match what people want.

“Holding events like this in The Galleries also demonstrates our commitment to breathing new life into the shopping centre and is just the beginning of what could be possible in the future.

“We look forward to the Food Fest on the Square event and we have no doubt that it will be very well attended.”

Held between 3pm and 9pm in the outdoor market space of The Galleries, the festival will also offer musical entertainment from a DJ and local singer Joe Astley.

David Mayhall from Haigh Foodie Friday said: “Wigan Council has been brave in taking pre-emptive action by buying The Galleries, investing in a vision and repurposing the centre.

“If they hadn’t then I believe The Galleries would have seen a slow continuing decline in its offer and possible closure.

“But even in taking this brave step, local businesses can play an important role.

“This is where Haigh Foodie Friday can play its part, by helping to attract residents with Food Fest on the Square.

“This will hopefully be the first of a regular initiative bringing together a dozen or so street food traders, pop up bars and live music.

“I see the future of groups such as Haigh Foodie Friday working with these independent street food traders to help create vibrant and attractive places for residents to spend time.”

The full list of food and drink stalls for the event is below although more stalls may be confirmed in the coming days.

l Levant street food

l Sushi Craft

l Barbie Boys

l In The Dog Haus

l Sabroso street food

l Halloumination

l Waan Yen Thai

l Travelling Pizza Co

l Dirty Vegan

l Shakes, Batter & Roll

l Copa Fizz

l Two Left Feet Tap

l Festival face painting

The council says it is committed to supporting the local economy to grow.

Food Fest on the Square follows an event-packed September including the town centre’s first Comic Con, Wigan 10k and Diggers Festival.