Wigan town centre, with around 113,629 sq m of floorspace, is the largest centre and is of sub-regional importance, ranking alongside centres such as Bolton and Warrington. Leigh is the second largest centre and serves a smaller catchment area.
In addition, there are 7 other town centres (Ashton-in-Makerfield, Atherton, Golborne, Hindley, Pemberton, Standish and Tyldesley). There are also a further 25 smaller local centres which principally serve their surrounding residential areas.
The Unitary Development Plan's aim to maintain the primary role of the borough's town centres as the focus for shopping and other commercial activity, has been achieved despite pressure for new and larger stores in 'out of town' locations. The Replacement Unitary Development Plan continues to promote town centres as the preferred location for larger retail, leisure and office developments The emerging Core Strategy, within the Local Development Framework, will provide the new Planning Policy Framework for all the town centre areas.
The council has produced a series of 'Centreplans' for some of the borough's main town centres. These plans provide informal planning guidance and a framework for development and investment in these areas.
Detailed plans have been prepared for:
In addition, informal planning guidance has been prepared for key areas of Wigan town centre which provide opportunities for development and investment: