‘We Love Leigh’ takes shape

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artists impression of new town centre

Plans to transform Leigh town centre thanks to a £32million cash injection are beginning to take shape, with drawings published by Wigan Council showcasing an exciting future for the town centre.

Last year, Wigan Council was awarded £12m from the Levelling Up Fund to deliver an ambitious regeneration scheme in Leigh town centre over the next two years.  

The scheme includes refurbishing Leigh Market, improving the public realm and a business grant scheme to make the town centre more accessible and attractive to visitors.  

In addition to this funding, Leigh was awarded £20m over the next 10 years through the Government’s Long-Term Towns fund.  

The Government has set out guidance on how the Long-Term Towns Fund will operate to ensure that the processes are transparent and accountable and to ensure that funding is used to respond to the priorities of local people.

This includes ensuring a mixture of representatives on the board with the local authority as the accountable body to develop a 10-year vision and three-year investment plan.

Councillor Keith Cunliffe, Deputy Leader of Wigan Council, said: “It has been an exciting couple of years for Leigh, as a host of the Women’s Euros, the Rugby League World Cup and, of course, the Challenge Cup returning for the first time since 1971. 

“But we want this to just be the start, with this major regeneration project set to deliver real tangible improvements to Leigh ensuring it is a thriving and vibrant town centre at the heart of our community. 

“We’re really looking forward to getting out and about, engaging with residents, businesses and local community organisations, working in partnership to ensure this project delivers the best it can for our town centre.” 

Karen Cox, Chair of the Leigh Innovation Board and Spinning Gate shopping centre manager, said: “These are really exciting times for Leigh town centre and will build on the fantastic work we have been able to do as a business, public and third sector collective, in shouting up for our town.  

“In 2023, we saw several new businesses open here in Leigh, from hospitality with That Secret Ingredient to shops like Purrfect Crafting, and services like Meadows Psychology. 

“As local businesses, we are looking forward to playing a key role in this exciting regeneration and ensuring a great future for our town centre.” 

The Government has stipulated that a Town Board has to be established, bringing community leaders, employers, local authorities, and the local MP together to develop a shared vision for their town and oversee the funding.

Working closely with local authorities as the accountable body, these Boards will be encouraged to use the full suite of powers and flexibilities the Government has granted places to turn their high streets and towns around and be backed by the funding needed to do so.

For more information about the plans for Leigh visit: www.wigan.gov.uk/leighregenerationproject.