Step Places to resume at Wigan Pier
The developer is to restart work on the overhaul of three historic buildings as part of the area’s revamp as a visitor destination.
Phase one of the project saw work completed on the renovation of roof structures and Internal structural elements, before work was halted, initially by the Covid shutdown, then by construction industry challenges around contractor availability, labour and materials costs.
Step Places is the development partner of Wigan Council, the Canal & River Trust and the Old Courts arts centre (which will operate events, arts and hospitality) on the scheme, billed as the Pier Quarter.
In all, the buildings concerned amount to 55,000 sq ft and will include event spaces for corporate and community hire, workspace, an educational facility and “meanwhile” space for retail, performance, and food markets.
The developer hopes to have food and drink and live events facilities open at Piers 2 and 3 by late autumn, while work is expected to complete at Pier 4 by summer 2023.
Leader of Wigan Council, Cllr David Molyneux, said: “We’re really pleased that work will soon be restarting on the exciting regeneration of Wigan Pier.
“The Pier is an important and iconic part of our local heritage, synonymous with our borough and renowned far and wide. We simply cannot wait to see it begin its next chapter and achieve its full potential as an attractive visitor destination and hive of cultural activity and creativity.”
Step Places founder Harinder Dhaliwal said: “We were initially concerned that another year of delay would mean the buildings would be at an irretrievable stage, but we are delighted to have rescued them from further disrepair.
“We have painstakingly restored the iconic buildings including the coal jetties and new cantilevered boardwalks, and now we can start to fit out the historic buildings for modern uses and open to the public to enjoy.”
As Molyneux outlined, the area is steeped in local heritage. A short distance from the town centre on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, it was formerly at the end of a narrow-gauge tram line used to transport coal to the surrounding warehouses.
The scheme, designed by architect Southgate Sarabia, was approved in summer 2019. Step Places has also delivered the Waterside Gardens residential scheme in the area.