Demolition contract signed as works begin on Wigan’s town centre galleries redevelopment

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staff in HIgh Vis jackets

Developer, Cityheart and Wigan Council have signed demolition agreements together with construction partner BCEGI. This much anticipated work is set to start on site immediately for the proposed £135 million redevelopment of the former Galleries shopping Centre in heart of Wigan town centre.

The first phase of the demolition works is expected to take approximately 18 months, with the majority of buildings cleared across the site in that time.   Ground and enabling works for new buildings will begin in tandem as the demolition moves across the site. This sequencing will accelerate the provision of new leisure, retail, commercial and residential facilities in the town centre allowing main building works to promptly start on cleared plots. The first new building anticipated for completion is the new market hall, which is due to open its doors to the public in 2024. The existing market Wigan Market and Makinson Arcade will remain operational throughout the development.

Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux, welcomed the latest milestone, commenting: “I’m pleased to see work officially starting on the Galleries and look forward to seeing the development progress over the next few years. This project is critical for the future of the town centre, with additional leisure and residential opportunities helping to attract more customers.

“We have seen the impact online shopping and the current cost of living crisis is having on town centres across the country and I’m pleased that we have a plan to reverse that decline and to make Wigan a thriving and vibrant town centre where people will choose to live, work, study and visit.”

Warren Taylor, Director of Cityheart, adds: “We have been working very closely with Wigan Council, the local retailers and the indoor and outdoor market traders, to ensure that the existing market hall can remain open and able to trade throughout the demolition works, similarly that neighbouring Makinson Arcade is kept open through all of the planned works.  We are also set to launch an extensive marketing campaign with new signage and way finding, this will commence with the extensive site hoarding which will in effect wrap around most of the site for the duration of the works, revealing our journey for this redevelopment. 

“The redevelopment of this mixed-use scheme will bring significant economic, social and environmental benefits to the town of Wigan and dramatically transform its landscape, which is crucial to its future success. In partnership with Wigan Council, we are delighted to have achieved this next significant milestone allowing us to deliver our promised vision, which will breathe new life in to the town and create a stronger community.”

Aaron Adams, Construction Director of BCEGI, concludes: “We are delighted to be starting the demolition phase of the Galleries project. This phase paves the way for construction to start in 2023. This is a very complex and challenging element of work that has been meticulously planned to cause minimum disruption.

In keeping with BCEGI’s sustainability policies we will be reusing a large amount of material from the demolition within the new scheme to reduce the environmental impact of the development.

We have been working alongside various organisations such as Wigan and Leigh College and Wigan Youth Zone to ensure that much needed opportunities for apprenticeships and training are provided and have several students already gaining valuable on-site work experience. We have also through our Meet the Buyer events met with many local companies that we hope will benefit from the project.”