The mixed-use regeneration of Wigan Pier, including waterside homes, a food hall and event venues, has been given planning consent by the council.
Step Places was chosen as developer for the site by the council and the Canal & River Trust last year.
The scheme was split across two planning applications, proposing a revamp of the three main 18th-century buildings on the site. Dating from the 1790s, these are a 23,000 sq ft warehouse; the 8,000 sq ft former Orwell at Wigan pub; and the 4,500 sq ft former education centre at the pier.
Operated by The Old Courts, a gin distillery and microbrewery will be created on the site of the old museum, along with a food hall, with spaces for café, bar and deli retailers, with decorative glass features and a room for seating on the ground and mezzanine floors.
The proposals also include canal-side walkways and eight townhouses. The architect is Southgate Sarabia.
The former Orwell public house will become an events venue hosting weddings, exhibitions and conferences, while the former education centre will be used for events encouraging community integration and cultural workshops.
Leader of the council, Cllr David Molyneux said: “The collaborative plans we have for Wigan Pier will completely rejuvenate the area and will connect the Pier Quarter to the town centre much more seamlessly.
“We are confident that that local people, visitors and those with an interest in the Pier buildings will welcome this formal decision and will also enjoy seeing this 18th Century site be brought back into modern use.
“We’re working hard to develop a new offer that will attract visitors, which includes culture, leisure and employment opportunities.
“We’re also really pleased to see a residential offer included in the vision which will ensure we have a mixture of homes available to suit our residents and is a key ambition outlined in our Strategic Regeneration Framework’.
“Wigan Pier is a huge step-forward in creating this offer and it is great news that the work can now really begin. As always, we will continue to keep the public informed of the development as it progresses.”
Harry Dhaliwal, managing director of Step Places, said: “Today’s decision is a defining moment for both the Wigan Pier development and the future of the area. We are looking forward to starting work on the scheme alongside our dedicated partners and creating a truly outstanding destination with high quality spaces that Wigan can be proud of.”
Enabling works have started on site, with the main phase of construction due to begin next month. The scheme is scheduled for completion in March 2020.