Wigan still without Pier, but will get a ‘Quarter’!

Wigan has not had a ‘Pier’ for nearly a hundred years, but the historic canalside area that bears the name is going to become ‘Wigan Pier Quarter’ and aim to breathe new life into the Lancashire town.

Wigan Pier QuarterA major transformation of one of the North West’s most iconic destinations has moved a step closer after Wigan Council signed a deal with developers to deliver a new “Wigan Pier Quarter”. A ten year master plan to redesign and redevelop the area around the world famous Wigan Pier has been agreed between the council, the Canal & River Trust and developer H20 Urban.

The plans will transform the land around the historic Leeds & Liverpool Canal basin close to Wigan town centre and include construction of a major performance venue, new canal moorings plus new homes and shops.   It will be overseen by H20 Urban, who specialise in regenerating canal side locations. They’ve previously worked on successful schemes across the UK including in Northwich, Lancaster and London.

Councillor David Molyneux, deputy leader of Wigan Council, said: “There’s been a lot of talk in Westminster political circles about Wigan Pier and the country going back to the 1930s. Well the reality here in Wigan is we’re looking to the future not the past.

“We’ve come up with an exciting new vision for a Wigan Pier Quarter and signed a deal with a proven developer to deliver this. It will bring prosperity and opportunity to the whole town. The regeneration of the Wigan Pier area is an important priority for the council and the local community and I’m delighted to see some real progress. The partnership agreement we’ve secured with the Canal and River Trust and H20 Urban is an important step in creating the Wigan Pier Quarter. It will provide the mechanism for attracting investment and development in this area and make sure it has a bright future.”

The new Wigan Pier Quarter will include:

  • A 1,200 seat performance venue at the Today’s Community Church.
  • Creation of new moorings in the canal basin offering new water user facilities.
  • New commercial development off Pottery Road.
  • Commercial development on the former bus depot site at Southgate.
  • Improvements to the canal towpath throughout the area.
  • Improved loading and access facilities for leisure boat operators.
  • The demolition of the former Wigan Pier nightclub building to be replaced with a new community garden.
  • A new public car park to be built on waste land in front of Trencherfield Mill providing 70 parking spaces for local businesses, residents and visitors.

There are also plans to bring the building that formerly housed the tourist attraction “The Way We Were” back into use.

Cheryl Blount-Powell, development manager with the Canal & River Trust, said: “These are exciting times for Wigan. The trust is delighted to be working in partnership with H20 Urban and Wigan Council to transform this important canal side site into a major new leisure destination, complete with new homes and car parking. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal has been a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity for nearly 200 years and we are delighted the waterway continues with that role by providing a focal point for regeneration of the Wigan Pier area. Living waterways transform places and enrich lives. We look forward to creating something really special in the town.”

Richard Thomas, development manager for H2O Urban, said: “Wigan Pier is a world famous destination and we want to create somewhere that lives up to that fame. H2O Urban, together with our partners, intend to breathe new life into this historic part of Wigan.  There are many diverse opportunities available as part of the development plans. If you have a business requirement, come and speak to us as we may be able to help you. We will be developing the plans during 2015 and be looking to start the first phase of works shortly thereafter. This is an exciting project and we look forward to delivering a project that Wigan can be proud of.”

Information and image from Wigan Council Press Release 6th January 2015.

All materials and images © Canal Junction Ltd. Dalton House, 35 Chester St, Wrexham LL13 8AH. No unauthorised reproduction.

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