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.”