The Fire Within

simulation of The Fire Within

The Fire Within exhibition is to be refreshed

An arts and culture hub that has transformed a Greater Manchester shopping centre is to get a fresh new look.

The Fire Within exhibition, part of Wigan Council’s new arts focused manifesto, opened earlier this year and has attracted national recognition.

Its curators – renowned artists and film-makers Al and Al – are now set to revamp sections of the installation to help it remain cutting edge.

It means four of the exhibition’s six units in The Galleries shopping centre will temporarily close this week.

Chief executive of Wigan Council, Alison McKenzie-Folan, said: “The success of The Fire Within has been incredible.

“We’ve had such positive feedback from residents, visitors and influential figures such as Darren Henley, CEO of the Arts Council.

“This has the potential to be even bigger but we need to ensure that the exhibition space remains up-to-date, current and innovative.

“We want to keep momentum going and we want to work with our future artists to explore the themes that are outlined in the manifesto.”

The Fire Within HQ and ICONS exhibition spaces will remain open throughout the changeover meaning visitors will still have access to breath-taking items such as the invaluable gold Egyptian mask and a selection of exclusive Theodore Major paintings.

The council’s manifesto, launched in May, outlines themes that the local authority and its partners will explore over the next five years as part of their commitment to positioning the borough as a culturally leading district in the North West.

Its theme for 2019 is Wigan’s Future Artists with an over-arching focus on art, music, dance, fashion and theatre.

Ms McKenzie-Folan added: “We would like to reiterate that this closure is temporary and that the HQ and ICONS exhibition spaces will still be open for people to enjoy throughout the process.

“We arranged for the changeover to take place after the summer holidays, so nobody misses out.

“We’re passionate about investing in the borough’s cultural offer and we will continue to work with Al and Al and the cultural sector to deliver our manifesto, which was written for the people, by the people.”

The temporary closure will take place from August 31.

Timescales are yet to be finalised but residents will be kept up to date with the work as it progresses.

The free monthly film screenings delivered in partnership with Leigh Film Society will continue as will a range of other events and activities in The Fire Within HQ.

To view the manifesto online, please visit

To keep updated with the progress of the refresh, and to find out what activities are taking place in HQ, follow Wigan Council on Facebook and Twitter.