The Galleries Wigan
The redevelopment of Wigan Galleries is set to advance in 2021

Wigan on hunt for £125m Galleries development partner

Charlie Schouten

The council has started the search for a partner to help deliver a £125m overhaul of The Galleries, the 440,000 sq ft shopping centre it bought in March last year.

The council expects to pick a preferred partner in 2020 for the wide-ranging redevelopment, which will be focussed on mixed-use with a preference for repurposing existing  surplus retail space.

Options for the £125m redevelopment could include adding hotel, residential, leisure, education, healthcare, or flexible work spaces, with a cinema or bowling alley also suggested. Improving the area’s night-time economy is also a focus of the project.

Wigan Council has pitched for “a scheme of a high architectural and urban design quality” as part of its brief, with improved connectivity with the wider town centre also a priority.

As part of the move, the council is looking to provide new facilities for the indoor market within the site, which it said would “help to improve both the quality and mix of market stalls and to increase the market’s prominence on the high street”; the council’s initial vision is to relocate it inside the former Marketgate building.

Three potential partners are expected to be shortlisted for the development partner role, with a development agreement likely to be finalised in 2021.

The council bought the site in March 2018 from Luxembourg-based Colcastor Sarl for an undisclosed sum, in a deal part-funded by the council receives from Manchester Airport, where it is a shareholder along with Greater Manchester’s nine other authorities.

Asset manager Vales Retail gained planning consent in 2015 for a £60m overhaul of The Galleries, which proposed turning the centre’s 150 separate units into 26 larger shops, in order to attract restaurant operators and a cinema. The plans were never progressed.

Wigan Council is planning to hold engagement sessions with existing traders within The Galleries ahead of drawing up firm proposals with its chosen partner.

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Good Luck

By Tha'Knows

£125 million development… aware if they manage to do it you will have to dodge a plethora of potholes to see it. Priorities springs to mind…

By Ian C Hall

Hope this ends well. Would be good to get this regenerated and back to life.

Good memories of buying boozing clobber here back in the day.

I remember the Galleries being built in the 1980s and it was cleverly stitched into the existing retail area…not just a faux-brutalist block rammed in like you see in other towns.

By Bryn Lad

A hotel, are they serious. The place was fine until Wigans ego built the Grand Arcade. You can’t have both of these. This is a white elephant. Now if you look at making a few decent restaurants and upgrade the market to a traditional market again you might have a chance, however Wigan is not really a place for fine dining it’s a bit of a whole in the evening as proven by the volumes drinking in awful pubs like Moon under the water and the others in Wigan town centre. Wigan council are delusional and labour controlled hence all monies will go on catering for the drunks the benefit fraudsters and housing benefit scammers. If you have aspiration in Wigan then I suggest you leave.

By Paul Niklas

Wigan Council the joke that keeps on giving. They try so hard to make the town relevant whilst neglecting the towns that come within its borough or using them as a cash-cow such as Atherton. Unfortunately for them Atherton is thriving without their help. Wonder where they are generating the funds? It’s about time the Egos in Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council realised no one wants to their town centre.

By New Wave