Aiden Thatcher (centre) was a panellist at Place North West's Greater Manchester Development Update event. Credit: Place North West

Wigan picks interim replacement for Manchester-bound Heron 

Dan Whelan

Aidan Thatcher will take over as director of economy and skills at the local authority when Becca Heron starts her new role as strategic director of growth and development at Manchester City Council next month. 

Thatcher joined Wigan Council as assistant director for growth and housing in May having spent the previous three years as director of planning and building control at Belfast City Council. 

Thatcher will take over on an interim basis while the council mulls a longer-term appointment. His main focus will be on the delivery of the Galleries 25 project, being developed by Cityheart and BCEGI.

Alison McKenzie-Folan, chief executive of Wigan Council, said: “Aidan brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role that will help us to continue progressing our biggest priorities for the directorate while we consider the longer-term plan.” 

Heron arrived at Wigan Council in 2018. During her time in post, she was successful in procuring a development consortium to lead the £130m redevelopment of Wigan Galleries. 

Heron also helped to secure £16.7m of Future High Street funding for various town centre projects. 

In July, it was announced she would be leaving Wigan to replace Louise Wyman at Manchester City Council. 

Wyman stepped down as Manchester’s director of growth and development in April after less than a year. 

Thatcher was a panellist at Place North West‘s Greater Manchester Development Update conference earlier this month.

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