The project’s developer Step Places has signed an agreement with leisure and cultural operator The Old Courts to occupy Wigan Pier once the transformation of the derelict 18th-century buildings completes.
Step Places was chosen as developer for the site by Wigan Council and the Canal & River Trust around 12 months ago, and is working to bring forward a revamp of the three main 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.
Now, Step Places has agreed a deal with The Old Courts, a non-profit organisation which operates a cultural venue in the town centre, to bring a leisure, food & drink, and cultural offering forward at the site.
A planning application is due to be submitted in the coming weeks, which will provide more details of the plans for the different buildings, and an updated timescale for the project.
Harry Dhaliwal, managing director of Step Places said: “We are working to create a place to be proud of; a new part of the town centre where people want to live and has the impressive cultural and leisure activities that both residents and visitors can enjoy.
“Having secured The Old Courts as the main operator we are confident we have the right team in place to do just that and we are looking forward to sharing our plans for Wigan Pier’s prosperous next chapter”.
Dave Jenkins, managing director of The Old Courts added: “We’re confident that the reinvention of The Pier Quarter will see an increase in visitor numbers from outside the town which, in turn, should benefit everyone contributing to the rise in culture, not just our organisation.
“The Pier project will form part of our organisational expansion and our existing premises on Crawford Street will of course remain. There are exciting times ahead in Wigan and we’re proud to be part of it.”
The regeneration of Wigan Pier has been mooted for more than a decade. The warehouse housed The Way We Were Museum between 1986 and 2007, with the education building providing supporting space. The Orwell, based in the former Gibosn’s Warehouse, closed in 2009.