Darren Jones, Cityheart, p Infom Comms

Darren Jones has experience in both the public and private sectors. Credit: via Font Comms

Cityheart appoints Jones as project director

Darren Jones has been hired to spearhead the £135m Wigan Galleries regeneration project having joined the developer from Nikal.

Jones left Nikal earlier this year after nearly six years as development director and worked on schemes including the £300m Blackpool Central leisure complex.

At Cityheart, he will lead the team delivering the redevelopment of Wigan Galleries shopping centre.

The scheme will feature a 144-bed Hampton by Hilton hotel and a new market hall in its first phase.

Later phases of the development will include around 500 homes, a multimedia centre, 10,000 sq ft of commercial space, and roughly the same amount of food and beverage accommodation.

Jones will bring to the role experience of how regeneration works on both sides of the fence. As well as boasting significant private sector experience at firms including Nikal, Himor, and Orbit Developments, he spent six years as a director at Oldham Council between 2010 and 2016.

Cityheart chief operating officer Warren Taylor believes this experience will be crucial to the delivery of the scheme.

“He has over 30 years’ experience in strategic leadership working in both the public and private sector and is the perfect fit for Cityheart and our local authority partners,” Taylor said.

“Our mission is to create sustainable developments through regeneration, which deliver economic resilience, create opportunities and better places for people to live, work and study.

“Darren’s knowledge and leadership will be invaluable in doing just that initially for this key Greater Manchester scheme.”

Jones said he was excited to be joining Cityheart as the Galleries project ramps up.

“It is an incredibly exciting time for the business,” he said.

“The Wigan town centre regeneration project is now leading up to the construction of the first phases, having completed an incredibly complex demolition programme earlier this year. I am looking forward to working with the team and Wigan Council to realise the vision for the town centre.”

Galliford Try has been appointed as the main contractor for the project after Cityheart parted ways with BCEGI after the enabling phase.

BCEGI had been involved in the £135m project since Cityheart was appointed to deliver it by Wigan Council in 2021.

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Well Done

By Tony J

Well done DJ. Best of luck!


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