Exciting plans to transform The Galleries shopping centre in Wigan have moved one step closer this week.
On Tuesday 29 October, Wigan Council will officially publish a notice to procure a development partner to help bring forward an ambitious vision for The Galleries and the market, to create a vibrant mix of improved retail offer alongside leisure and residential uses.
Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux, said: “This move marks a real signal of our intent to drive forward the regeneration of Wigan town centre.
“Improvements to our town centres have been highlighted as a key ambition for residents. Our team is working hard to deliver on this, which is crucial for our plans to secure a prosperous economic future for our borough.”
During last year’s Big Listening Project, residents said they wanted to see a more diverse offer in the town centre to attract more homeowners and visitors.
The start to procuring a development partner comes as work to determine the future of The Galleries and the market progresses.
Further engagement with market traders and retailers currently located within The Galleries will be held over the next few months. Focused public engagement will also take place to refine feedback received from the Big Listening Project. The relocation of the market to a more accessible location is one option likely to be explored.
This latest round of engagement will help to shape the final plans, which will then be worked up with the chosen development partner to ensure they deliver on local people’s aspirations for the town centre.
It is anticipated a preferred partner will be identified in 2020 with development agreements likely to be finalised in 2021, before any work can begin on site.
The progression of plans to redevelop The Galleries sits within the council’s Strategic Regeneration Framework, which outlines a wider long-term plan for the town centre and details how a new varied offer, including thriving residential, offices, leisure and retail can be delivered.
The Framework acknowledges that Wigan cannot currently rely on the private sector to drive change and deliver the growth needed and confirms the important role the council needs to play in driving forward regeneration to benefit the whole borough.
Last month, it was revealed that King Street in Wigan will benefit from a £2m facelift through funding secured by the council to create a Heritage Action Zone over the next four years, bringing key listed buildings back into use, as part of this wider Framework.
Wigan Council acquired The Galleries for redevelopment – which had previously been under private ownership – in 2018 after it had suffered from a historic lack of investment.