Mill Eckersley Mills , Heaton Group, p Viva PR

Fletcher Rae Architects had designed the repurposing of the historic mill. Credit: via Viva PR

Wigan approves 137 flats at Eckersley Mills

Developer Heaton Group can proceed with its plans to convert one of the site’s grade two-listed former cotton mills into a four-storey apartment block off Swan Meadow Road.

Wigan Council signed off the proposals earlier this week, and the Heaton Group has already indicated that it wants to begin construction on the apartments soon.

When complete, the site’s Mill Three will comprise 72 one-bedroom flats, 51 two-bedroom homes, and 14 three-bed flats. Among these apartments will be a series of penthouse-style homes with private terraces. All residents will have access to a communal garden area.

Designs by Fletcher Rae Architects also include a 60-space car park for residents, as well as spaces for three motorcycles and 130 cycles.

Mill Three is one of several mills that make up the 17-acre Eckersley Mills complex. Heaton Group has a £200m masterplan in place to convert the mills into various uses.

Mill Eckersley Mills , Heaton Group, p Viva PR

Mill Three will now become 137 flats having secured planning permission. Credit: via Viva PR

The first phase is already under construction, as Mill One becomes a mixed-use building with 80,000 sq ft of offices, a rooftop restaurant, a foodhall, and a microbrewery.

Applications for a third phase of the scheme is expected to be lodged with Wigan Council in the next few weeks.

“As a Wigan business this is a special scheme for us, and we know how important it is to the town,” said Heaton Group managing director John Heaton.

“That’s why we want to make sure it’s done right and make sure the conversion is done as sensitively as possible,” he continued.  “They’re magnificent buildings with amazing local heritage wrapped up in them and we don’t want to lose any of that.

“Our plans are all about rescuing what we can and creating something the people of Wigan can be proud of.”

Mill Eckersley Mills, Heaton Group, p Viva PR

Paul Butler Associates is the planning consultant for the project. Credit: via Viva PR

Heaton Group’s plans for Eckersley Mills have also secured support from Historic England.

The conservation group’s head of advice North, Marie Smallwood, commented: “We welcome and support this scheme which would secure much-needed investment, conservation, and repair of the ailing Mill Three building.

“The proposals will contribute towards the regeneration of the whole of the huge Eckersley Mills site, which has played such an important role in people’s lives in the town over the years and is now set to be an exciting catalyst for jobs and economic opportunity,” she continued.

“We consider that the interventions have been designed to work with and complement the building, whilst also ensuring that its original form and function would still be understood.”

In addition to Fletcher Rae, the project team for Mill Three includes planner and heritage consultant Paul Butler Associates, drainage and structural engineer Brennan Consult, and air quality expert Redmore Environmental.

Exterior Architecture is the landscape designer and QED is the ventilation consultant. Hive Land and Planning is assisting with viability and Temple Group is helping with trees. Also on the project team: Rachel Hacking Ecology, Design Fire Consultant, Groundtech Consulting, SK Transport, and DBX Acoustics.

The application reference number for the Mill Three conversion is A/22/94870/MAJOR on Wigan Council’s planning portal.

Your Comments

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Looks really good. Cracking conversion.


Fantastic to see – these buildings have sat neglected for far too many decades. These designs seem minimal and so sympathetic to the look and feel of the building heritage whilst having a sleek modernisation with the windows, etc. Looking forward to seeing work progress – this area will be the jewel in the town’s crown 🙂

By Anonymous

Terrific effort. Oldham’s mighty mills, have mainly been bulldozed sadly. It shows what can be achieved, with some thought and imagination. Look to Wigan, Oldham council leaders, whoever they are this week?

By Elephant

Greater Manchester really starting to get a grip on some schemes. This one is beautiful. Can’t beat a mill conversion IMO.

By Anonymous

It truly is a special scheme.

Former mill building are terrific when it comes to conversion to residential, offices and other uses like food halls – the ceiling heights and windows and thickness of walls are perfect.

The greenest building is the one standing.


This looks really high quality design with a sensitive room extension. These old Mills really do make great living and working spaces and we need more conversions like this outside of Manchester.

By Jon P

First Class work.


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