Zone work under way

Site preparations for the Wigan Youth Zone
Site preparations for the Wigan Youth Zone

ONLY in the new year will the heavy work get going.

But this week saw the first signs that Wigan’s long-awaited Youth Zone will soon be a reality. Hoardings are being erected at the Mesnes Playing Field, Parson’s Walk, and parts of the land fenced off in anticipation of plant machinery’s arrival on site next month. And in a year’s time the £6.5m complex should be ready for opening.

Reaching this stage has been quite a saga. Several attempts were made by residents opposed to the club’s location to get it stopped by declaring the land a village green.

It delayed the project, as did the threat of a judicial review, but eventually the legal obstacles fell away and the project, funded in part by millionaires Dave Whelan, Martin Ainscough and Bill Ainscough, along with contributions from the rest of the business community and Wigan Athletic players was given the green light.