Wigan shopping centre could be redeveloped

Asset manager Vale Retail and administrators for Propinvest Wigan said they intend to modernise the town's struggling Galleries shopping centre and rename it the Makinson Quarter.

The current 150 units would be reconfigured into 26 larger units. The redevelopment would reinstate the old street pattern of the town bringing back Woodcock Street, Woodcock Square and the re-aligned Hope Street. There would be a new link – Woodcock Arcade – linking the development with Standishgate opposite M&S.

The current centre has a net internal area of 280,000 sq ft, excluding Makinson Arcade. The redeveloped centre would total 325,000 sq ft gross floor area plus 95,000 sq ft of leisure.

The void rate is currently 42% and no pre-lets have been agreed on the redeveloped scheme.

Vale Retail, advising administrators CBRE and Deloitte, said it hopes to attract a larger supermarket, restore the markets to their original location and create a new leisure square.

Adrian Oliver, director of Vale Retail, said: "This development will make Wigan a great place to shop thereby widening the town's catchment, keeping shoppers shopping here rather than migrating to out of town retail parks and the internet. The leisure hub incorporating a multi-screen cinema, gym, restaurants, bars and cafes will attract more people into the town centre and help build a night time economy."

A planning application is due to be submitted in December.

The plans will go on show at Ashton Gallery on the first floor of The Galleries on Friday 22 November and Saturday 23 November.

CBRE is the managing agent. Douglas Stevens & Co and Tushingham Moore are the letting agents. CDA is providing integrated architectural, planning and interior design services.

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The development should include one or more Public Access Defibrillators

By Bernard Powell

Good news. Live near here and have used it over the years. It has gone into a seemingly inexorable decline in recent years, with the lower level section off Mesnes street starting to empty out as far back as the late 1990s, the mall only opened in the late 1980s!!! Built by AMEC (my ex-employer) who then moved onto the Spindles Shopping Centre in Oldham (same team). Was last in The Galleries on 28th October this year and it was a ghost mall, quite haunting and melancholic. Empty cafes, empty, malls, empty concourse – very much a sad feel to it.

By Kicko Wigann

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