Cityheart eyes January start for ‘critically important’ £135m Wigan Galleries 

The Chester-based developer and its joint venture partner Beijing Construction Engineering Group International have submitted a planning application for the mixed-use regeneration project due to complete in 2025.

“Today marks an important milestone and step forward in the delivery of this critically important redevelopment project in the heart of Wigan,” said Warren Taylor, director of Cityheart. 

“These plans support the Wigan town centre strategic regeneration framework developed by the council last year and are a vital step in securing the future economic success and sustainability of the heart of the town.” 

The joint venture, known as Galleries 25, was appointed to redevelop the 440,000 sq ft town centre retail complex last year, as revealed by Place North West. 

BCEGI and Chester-based Cityheart beat off competition from regeneration specialists Muse Developments and a partnership between Maple Grove Developments and Urban Splash to secure the Wigan job. 

Cityheart Wigan 2

The project is to complete by 2025

The joint venture’s hybrid application seeks consent to transform the Wigan site into a £135m town centre hub featuring residential, leisure and offices. 

Among the leisure facilities are a cinema, bowling alley, multipurpose venue, and indoor mini-golf.  

A purpose-built pavilion off Market Street would provide new food and drink establishments as well as evening entertainment. 

A new market hall is also proposed. It would include traditional market stalls, retail units, co-working spaces, small offices and a food hall. 

Cityheart and BCEGI’s proposals also include a hotel and 464 homes ranging from one-bedroom apartments to three-bedroom town houses and retirement living. 

The vision for the Galleries has been designed by JM Architects and law firm Brabners is advising Cityheart on the scheme.

Subject to planning approval, construction will begin in the new year.

Becca Heron, director of economy and skills at Wigan Council, said: “We thank the public for their helpful comments to date and as local planning authority, we urge people to read the application and supporting documents and formally submit their views. 

“The application is now going through the statutory process and will be determined in the autumn in line with national and local planning policy.” 

Oldham Spindles3

Oldham is seeking a developer to revamp the town’s Spindles shopping complex

The Galleries is an example of an emerging development trend whereby councils are increasingly taking ownership of ageing retail assets before teaming up with the private sector to redevelop them.  

Wigan council bought the Galleries from Luxembourg-based firm Colcastor in March 2018, while Sefton Council acquired the Strand in Bootle from St Modwen and is working up redevelopment proposals.  

In Oldham, the council bought the 450,000 sq ft Spindles earlier this year and is engaging with developers. In Prestwich, Bury Council is working with Muse to draw up plans for the revamp of Longfield Shopping Centre, which it plans to buy from Hollins Murray. 


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