Event Summary

MIPIM GALLERY + VIDEO | Wigan – Greater Manchester’s £5bn borough

A host of impactful regeneration schemes and increasing investor appetite in Wigan indicate it is a town on the up.

Wigan’s £5bn pipeline was the topic of a panel chaired by Place North West deputy editor Dan Whelan on the Manchester stand at MIPIM.

The session shone a light on the various projects taking shape across the borough and asked why Wigan is the Greater Manchester borough to invest in.

The schemes highlighted included:

  • Cityheart and the council’s £135m Galleries mixed-use development
  • A new chapter for Wigan Pier led by Step Places
  • Opportunities for regeneration around the town’s two train stations
  • The revitalisation of a long-derelict mill complex into homes and workspace
  • A strategic growth location earmarked for 9,500 homes, around 3m sq ft of logistics and distribution space, as well as food manufacturing facilities.

Visit Place North’s MIPIM hub to find the latest news from Cannes. 

The participants in the discussion were:

  • Aidan Thatcher, director of place at Wigan Council
  • Harindar Dhaliwal, managing director at Step Places
  • Sandra Robinson, technical director at WSP
  • Mel Wilson, director at Deloitte
  • Warren Taylor, chief operating officer at Cityheart.

As well as going into detail on the flagship development projects across the borough, the session also unveiled a major coup for the town centre.

Hilton’s decision to enter into an agreement to deliver a 144-bedroom hotel as part of the first phase of the Galleries is an indication of increasing investor appetite, according to Taylor.

“It is a turning point and testament to the [Galleries] masterplan,” he said.

“It has been a very challenging period. This is a testament to the masterplan we have developed.”

The session also saw Wilson announce the new brand name for the Wigan/Bolton growth location: Now known as Northfold, the strategic site is allocated for redevelopment under the soon-to-be-adopted Places for Everyone joint plan.

“This particular growth location is really grounded in significant housing delivery,” Wilson said.

“Economic growth and innovation are hugely important. But this is an area with significant existing communities, and a big part of the vision is about ensuring that there are inclusive growth opportunities for local people.”

The private sector panellists heaped praise on the council for the role it plays in facilitating regeneration. Dhaliwal described the authority as “strong, reliable, and honest”, while Robinson said Wigan is a place with “passion and pride” with enviable connectivity.

The message from the panellists was loud and clear: come and invest in Wigan.

“You have heard a had a little bit about what we’ve got going there’s a whole huge story that sits behind,” Thatcher said. “The conditions are right and we want to engender that growth together.”

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