Famous Faces Needed for New Exhibition in Leigh

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Leigh Town Hall Photo
Leigh Town Hall Archives

Residents are being asked to nominate people past and present who have shaped Wigan borough to be featured in a new project at Leigh Town Hall.

Included in Wigan Council’s ambitious plans to revamp the grade ‖ listed building is a new museum and exhibition space which will draw residents and visitors to the town.

The ‘Famous Faces’ feature in one corner of the exhibition will feature photographs of people who have played a key community role in the borough over the years.

The council is asking people to put names forward for who could be included. The faces do not have to be celebrities and could be popular community figures and modern-day heroes. 

Councillor Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods, said: “We are currently exploring our amazing archive and museum collections to gather information about which events, people and places we want to explore in our new exhibition.

“But we also want to share the amazing stories of people from across the borough and would love people to get involved by nominating someone they think should feature. You might have a historical figure in mind or someone from your community who plays a part in your life.

“Reflecting particularly over the last few months, so many local people have gone above and beyond for their communities We’re looking for both people from our past and those who are important to us in the present. All people suggested should have a strong connection to the borough, whether born and brought up here, or living and working here.”

The feature will form a permanent part of the exhibition in the Town Hall.

The council secured investment from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the project, which will create a new home for the borough’s archives service and a new public search room alongside the exhibition.

With historic records dating back 800 years the borough’s archives and local studies service collects, preserves and catalogues thousands of records from schools, churches, hospitals, businesses, families, estates, people, and makes them available to the public.

Vacant shop units in the town hall will be converted in a bid to restore part of the building and create an exciting cultural offer. Work on site is currently on a reduced basis to allow for social distancing.

Cllr Ready added: “We’re incredibly excited about the Town Hall project which will enhance the tourism and cultural offer for Leigh, complementing the brilliant work already underway in the town. The team are taking care to preserve many of the features in the building so it retains its rich history. The progress is great so far and we’re looking forward to welcoming residents in to see the finished result.”

To nominate someone for the Famous Faces display, please email at [email protected] with the following information:

 Your name and contact details.
• Who you would like to nominate?
• What makes the person significant and why have you nominated them?
• What is their connection to the Wigan Borough?
• Do you have a photograph of them and permission for the image to be used?

All the suggestions will be reviewed by the team working on the Town Hall project and the new exhibition. A long-list will be drawn up for volunteers at the Archives to help decide on the final selection.

Any suggestions not used in the display may form part of an online gallery or could be used as part of other interactive displays in the new exhibition.

In November the authority announced the appointment of design and creative agency Core to develop and design the exhibition space. Core are interpretive designers, experienced in creating exhibitions and interpretive displays for exhibitions across museums, archives, galleries, heritage sites and visitor attractions. Find out more about them at www.thecreativecore.co.uk