Galleries £60m expansion approved

Wigan Council has given the green light to Vale Retail's £60m redevelopment plans for the Galleries shopping centre.

The current 150 units will be reconfigured into 26 larger units. The redevelopment will reinstate the old street pattern of the town bringing back Woodcock Street, Woodcock Square and re-aligned Hope Street. There will be a new link – Woodcock Arcade – between the development and Standishgate opposite M&S.

Once redeveloped, the centre will provide a mix of retail and leisure space, and will include a multi-screen cinema, family restaurants and a health centre.

Wigan Market will be moved to Market Street, where it was originally located.

Makinson Arcade will be preserved as part of the proposals.

The whole revamped scheme will be rebranded Makinson Square.

The application was approved by the council's cross-party planning committee on Tuesday 11 November.

Cllr David Molyneux, deputy leader of Wigan Council, said: "That a private developer wants to invest such a large sum of money into the town centre is a tremendous vote of confidence in Wigan. This will provide a big boost to the local economy and demonstrates the huge potential of this area."

Vale Retail is advising administrators Deloitte and CBRE, which were appointed to Propinvest's Gemini portfolio after it went into administration in 2012.

The scheme is designed by Comprehensive Design Architects, which is based in Edinburgh.

Construction is expected to take place over five years, with work beginning in 2015.

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