Wigan Council has officially announced that Galleries25 – a joint venture partnership between Cityheart and Beijing Construction Engineering Group International (BCEGI) – has been appointed as the Strategic Development Partner for the £130 million redevelopment of the Galleries Shopping Centre in Wigan.
The proposed scheme will see the existing 440,000 sq ft shopping centre transformed to provide:
- A multi-media centre comprising: six screen cinema, music and E-sports venue, 10 lane bowling alley, indoor mini golf, food and beverage units
- Evening entertainment space
- A new hotel
- 464 residential units
- New market hall, including a contemporary foodhall, co-working space and small offices
- A re-animated Makinson Arcade
- Landscaped public realm square for annual outdoor events
- 460 car parking spaces located within the existing basement
Wigan Council will work with Cityheart and BCEGI to agree the final details of the development with construction expected to start in early 2022 with an anticipated completion date of 2025.
Cityheart, a North West based property development and investment company, has a 15 year track record of successfully delivering significant projects across the country, working almost exclusively with the public sector. UK based BCEGI will lead the construction programme for the new scheme.
Following consultation with residents, retailers, traders and visitors, the proposals have been designed to transform Wigan town centre into a vibrant, attractive and accessible place to live, work, visit and learn helping to secure it’s long term future. Currently the centre is dominated by retail units, but under these plans there will be a much wider and diverse offer, including improved hospitality, leisure, and residential opportunities.
The Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux, says: “These proposals very much reflect the feedback we got from residents about the importance of vibrant town centres during the Big Listening Project in 2018 and the more recent consultation held earlier this year.
“Now more than ever it’s vital we do everything we can to create exciting and welcoming town centres to help support our local businesses and jobs. These plans do just that and I certainly can’t wait to see them materialise.”
The redevelopment will create 475 construction jobs and a further 190 jobs when the scheme opens. Galleries25 has committed to recruiting local people to the jobs, including 25 apprentices annually, providing work experience and education visits and to supporting the local supply chain through spend of £52m. Around 864 volunteer hours will also be donated to the voluntary sector.
Mark McNamee, Managing Director at Cityheart, comments: “Our plans recognise the significance that the Galleries site has in Wigan Council’s plans to regenerate and repurpose the town centre. Together with our partners, BCEGI, we are looking forward to working with the Wigan Council and other stakeholders to deliver this unique, once in a lifetime redevelopment to create a new living, entertainment and leisure destination, to be a place many can call home, in the heart of the town.”
Mr Dongwen Yu, Lead Director of BCEGI, adds: “We are delighted to be selected as Wigan Council’s preferred Strategic Development Partner alongside our partner, Cityheart. The Galleries project is an extremely important and exciting opportunity to transform the town centre and we are looking forward to working closely with the council, local businesses and the wider community to develop our joint vision. The development cements BCEGI’s long term future in the region, a future that we believe will benefit the council and the people of the borough for years to come.”
In keeping with Wigan’s environmental strategy and objectives, several environmentally friendly construction techniques will be used to reduce the environmental impact. This includes the installation of photovoltaics to generate solar power and reduce carbon emissions, energy efficient water fittings to reduce water consumption and plenty of electric car charging points and cycling storage in the car park to encourage smarter travel.
The plans support the Wigan Town Centre Strategic Regeneration Framework developed by the council last year. Its aims include:
- A place to live, work and visit: Our vision is to create a successful, vibrant and attractive town centre where people want to live, work and visit.
- A diverse leisure and retail offer that is attractive to all: A diverse leisure offer to attract more visitors and to keep them in the town centre for longer and during the evening.
- A better-connected town: Wigan will be more accessible, permeable and legible. It will be easier to move between key areas through better pedestrian links.
As part of the scheme the markets will be relocated to a more central position.