Progress with unity: Exhibition marks borough’s history and future

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A new exhibition telling the story of the last 50 years of Wigan Borough is opening in Leigh on Thursday, March 28.

Forward, Together will be hosted at the Archives: Wigan & Leigh in Leigh Town Hall to celebrate the people, places and communities that have shaped the character of the borough since its formation in 1974.

The free exhibition, which will be in place until September, has been curated alongside students from Wigan and Leigh College, using the extensive photographic archive stored at the archives.

Councillor Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities at Wigan Council, said: “It’s really special to be able to mark the history of the whole borough, and the unique identities of its towns and districts.

“The exhibition is a really important part of our year of activities marking the 50th anniversary of the formation of Wigan Borough, since the Local Government Act brought together a host of local government districts.

“The thing I’m most excited for in the exhibition is the fact it will shine a light on the voices and experiences of real people.”

Alongside the photographs on display, visitors to the exhibition will have the chance to share their memories and stories in an oral history project which will be shared and also go on to make up part of the Archives’ collection.

Coun Ready added: “Wigan & Leigh Archives is home to over 100,000 images and holds over 800 years of local history.

“We’re proud that our team of conservationists work all year round and that this exhibition will really bring to the fore the journey we’ve been on, and help us to progress with unity in the next 50 years.”

The project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Open Eye Hub.

The exhibition will be open at Archives: Wigan and Leigh Thursday – Saturday from 10am – 2pm (4pm on weekdays).