Wigan to flex CPO muscle to advance £135m Galleries revamp

The council will take control of various units within the retail complex to pave the way for the mixed-use redevelopment of the site. 

Wigan Council bought the Galleries in 2018 for £8m but some private sector land interests within the shopping centre were not included in the acquisition. 

Last week, the council’s cabinet approved the use of compulsory purchase powers to take control of units in private ownership.

The Secretary of State is required to give final sign-off on the CPO. Depending on the number and validity of the objections, the acquisition of the outstanding units might not complete until March 2023, according to a report to Wigan’s cabinet. 

Wigan is eyeing up five plots within the eight-acre site that it requires ownership of to progress the £135m redevelopment project. 

The sites in question are: 

  • Plot 1 – a unit at Wigan Market Square occupied by Heron Foods 
  • Plot 2 – a car parking and service area within the Galleries and an access corridor at basement/service level currently used by NatWest 
  • Plots 3 – unit 25 at Tyldesley Arcade, occupied by Ernest Jones 
  • Plot 4 – unit 24 at Standish Gallery, which is occupied by Beaverbrooks  
  • Plot 5 – The RBS unit at Market Place.

The Galleries project was approved in June last year following the appointment of a joint venture between Cityheart and BCEGI to deliver the scheme on behalf of the council. 

The JV, known as Galleries 25, won full consent for the demolition of the shopping centre and Wigan Market as well as the creation of 218 homes across four blocks, a new market building, and a hotel.  

A pavilion that is to house a food and beverage establishment and events space also features in the plans.  

The outline elements of the scheme include an additional 265 homes, a multimedia centre, 10,000 sq ft of commercial space, and roughly the same amount of food and beverage accommodation.  

The multimedia centre features a cinema, bowling alley, and multipurpose event space. 

Following approval of the scheme, the council began negotiating with private landlords to acquire units in private ownership. 

A report to the council’s cabinet said that “a number of offers have been made and analysis has been undertaken to ascertain an objective valuation of the properties. Unfortunately, to date, this has not enabled the purchases of the remaining properties in private ownership to be agreed.” 

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Wigan wasting money where it’s not needed, this money should be invested in the other towns within the borough such as Atherton and Tyldesley. The sooner they become independent towns or join Salford the better.

By New Wave

How do you become an independent Town? Amazing suggestion. How else do you propose to secure the galleries site?

By Partick

Great idea, bold statement from Wigan….

By Steven

New wave – how can you not think that revitalising a run down unused centre of town is not a good investment? Have you walked through Wigan during the week? This is a fantastic opportunity to create a central hub that will be come a catalyst for further investment

By Construction professional

So called clean air zone new homes cause more congestion and more fumes in the town centre.Good idea but how can you say
Wigan is doing there part in clean air when trying to get more people in the town center.

By Don

Cinema, bowling, crazy golf…
This is what wigan town centre needs? Really?
Is this 2022 or 1992?
No imagination or style whatsoever!

By Anonymous

just find them another place of work there loads of empty buildings

By paul

We are a Market town not a city. The whole thing is an eyesore and should never have passed planning

By Jason D

I think this so called money wasting new project should be scrapped.. people of wigan do not want it .. the Galleries should be refurbished.. as only 30 years old .. it has the perfect place on the upper floor for restaurants cafes and bars which includes balconies with an open area below that could be used for live entertainment … refurbished shops for retail and artisan stores and keep our market .. a few apartments could be placed on top end of market street .. sorted at quarter of the price

By Yvonne Duffy

Meanwhile…… where does a 75yr old lady with no transport, purchase clothing? All my friend are asking the same question. We can’t shop on-line or travel very far. All the stores we used to buy from have gone and our lovely town centre has become an empty wasteland. We’re baby boomers and there are a lot of us which means a lot of votes when the time comes.

By Barbara Mitchell

People don’t create fumes, Don. You’re thinking of cars, which are not the only way, or even the best way, to get people into a town centre.

By Ken

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