Step Places hopes to throw open the doors at Wigan Pier by this time next year after being selected as preferred developer for the three-building complex.
Wigan Council and the Canal & River Trust have chosen Step Places to bring forward the redevelopment of the 1790-built, 23,000 sq ft warehouse, the 8,000 sq ft former Orwell at Wigan pier pub, and the 4,500 sq ft former education centre at Wigan Pier, a landmark location on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
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.
Harinder Dhaliwal, director of Step Places, formerly known as First Step, told Place North West: “We’ve already started doing some remedial works, to make sure the builings don’t deteriorate any further, and also investigating further how they’ll convert into our envisaged uses.”
The plan is for a mix of leisure, entertainment, culture, arts and food & beverage, but Dhaliwal said that no specific details have been decided on yet, and that ongoing talks with operators will shape the project.
He expects the scheme to cost between £1.5m and £2m, saying: “We’ll fund a good proportion of that from our finances, but will also seek third party funding, whether that’s third party investor or Heritage Lottery support.”
Dhaliwal added: “We are truly excited to be part of a partnership delivering such a world class venue and bringing life back to Wigan Pier respecting its past and heritage and looking forward to the future of a significant buildings of such local and national importance.”
Cllr David Molyneux, deputy leader of Wigan Council, said: “Wigan Pier is one the most iconic locations in the North West.
“We have had long-held ambitions to create a new purpose for Wigan Pier as a destination and leisure attraction. Step Places’ vision for the Pier was from the outset extremely impressive and fulfilled everything that we hoped Wigan Pier would become.”
Step Places is the firm behind a Buttress-designed scheme in Ancoats that will see 23 homes developed off Cutting Room Square, along with the restoration of the Edinburgh Castle pub.