It was built nearly two centuries ago – but it’s just won the council’s top design prize: the Haigh Windmill has been voted the overall winner of the council’s annual awards by a panel of experts.
The awards recognise excellence in the design and construction of new domestic and commercial properties across the borough, as well as refurbishments and conservation schemes.
The landmark windmill (in truth, a brewery wind pump) near Haigh Hall in Wigan has been sensitively restored to its former glory. Traditional crafts’ techniques have revived the familiar structure after the battering of storms and as a result, it was selected as the overall winner. Representatives from architects Bradshaw Gass and Hope, Bullen Conservation Ltd and Vincent Pargetter Millwright Ltd collected their prize from John O’Neill, Chair of the borough’s Heritage and Environment Network. Mr Pargetter is one of the few professional millwrights in the country today.
Alongside Mr O’Neill on the judging panel were Jane Moscardini from Places Matter, the council’s deputy leader Cllr David Molyneux and Steve Normington, the council’s director of economy.
They noted that the windmill’s restoration had been challenging and technically difficult. But the judges said that such works set an example as to what can be achieved when members of the community work together with key professionals to save one of the borough’s key landmarks.
The ceremony, now in its seventh year, is held at Wigan Cricket Club and is considered an excellent networking opportunity for local design talent.
Cllr Molyneux said: “I am pleased that we have a healthy mix of eye catching, large and small scale projects, boroughwide this year. It proves that good design clearly has economic benefits and does not need to cost the earth, which is essential in these difficult times.
“We hope that by celebrating your winning schemes it will lay down the challenge for builders and designers to build even better schemes in the future.”
Local rugby legend Phil Clarke brings his kids along to declare the refurbished windmill 'open'.
The full list of winners:
Best domestic extension winner - AP Joinery for the rear extension at 8 Trescott Mews, Standish
Best housing (large developer) winner - Ben Bailey Homes for the residential development at Gin Pit Village in Astley
Best housing (small developer) winner - Harvey Homes for the small scale residential development at Haigh Road, Haigh
Beat health care building winner - Cruden Group for the construction of the Belong Nursing Home, Atherton
Best commercial building category - Mclaren Construction for the Cineworld at The Loom, Leigh
New buildings commendation – Social housing scheme in Scholes, Wigan
New buildings commendation – Belong care home, Atherton
New buildings commendation with merit - Astley Gate Office Development, Astley – Commendation with merit
New buildings winner - Beech Hill Community Primary School
Conservation refurbishment commendation - The Former Hesketh Arms, Shevington Moor – Commendation
Conservation refurbishment commendation - Heath Street Methodist Church, Golborne
Conservation refurbishment commendation with merit - Red Lion Public House, Ashton – Commendation with merit
Conservation refurbishment award winner (and overall Urban Design Winner) - The Haigh Windmill Project
Environmental quality award commendation - The Dover Lock Plank Lane Towpath Improvements
Environmental quality award commendation with merit - Climbing New Heights sculpture on the Atherleigh Way
Environmental quality award winner - The Wigan Flashes Improvement Work - Award Winner