Town centre plans

Wigan Borough is the second largest in Greater Manchester and includes the towns of Wigan, Leigh, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Atherton, Hindley, Tyldesley and Golborne.

There are more than 330,000 people in Wigan Borough and its population is growing.

We're serious about supporting businesses with their ambitions and helping them succeed and so we've created town centre plans to highlight the strengths and opportunities for our town centres and are committed to working with the private sector and our communities to build on and shape our borough’s future.

One of the strategic goals of The Deal 2030, informed by the Big Conversation with residents, is vibrant town centres for all. We are serious about helping our town centres to respond to the challenges triggered by the growth in on-line shopping, which has reduced the demand for shops in our centres. Diversifying the uses in our town centres is critical - our towns need to offer more than just shops, they need to be focal point for all kinds of social interaction: places to live and work, access services and spend leisure time.

Our town centres must be attractive to all of our community - we must celebrate and conserve what is special about each of our towns and ensure they provide opportunities for business and economic growth.


Wigan is by far the largest town in the borough.

A Strategic Regeneration Framework has been developed to provide a single integrated plan for the strategic redevelopment of Wigan Town Centre and has formed the basis of several funding applications that have secured investment into the town centre.

The redevelopment of the Galleries shopping centre - now underway - will be a major catalyst for the regeneration of the town centre. The £130 million project being delivered by the Council and their development partner Cityheart Ltd, will create a new retail, leisure, commercial and residential destination in the heart of the town centre. More information is available on Galleries 25 (external link).

The Council secured £16.6 million from the government’s Future High Street Fund (external link) to deliver regeneration in Wigan town centre. This funding is targeted towards the redevelopment of Galleries and other projects that will deliver new homes, work space and enhanced public realm in the town centre.

The King Street area of the town centre secured £1.3 million from the High Streets Heritage Action Zone (external link) administered by Historic England and delivered by the Council in partnership with the King Street community.


Leigh is the second largest town in Wigan Borough. It  is a town with a rich, illustrious history and an exciting and vibrant future. Leigh has a multitude of inspirational regeneration and growth opportunities using its famous canals as catalysts for change, inspiring new development and creative and attractive living spaces.

To help drive the regeneration of Leigh Town Centre a Leigh Town Centre Strategic Regeneration Framework has been produced. It establishes an exciting and ambitious vision for Leigh Town Centre over the next 10 years.

This has been used to help bid for funding from Round 2 of the Levelling Up Fund for Leigh Town Centre.

New Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans have been prepared for Leigh Town Centre Conservation Area and Railway Road Conservation Area, and an Article 4 Direction has been made for parts of Leigh Town Centre Conservation Area.

An Article 4 Direction has also been introduced to remove permitted development rights for changes of use to Homes in Multiple Occupation in Central Leigh.

A neighbourhood forum Leigh Central Forum has been established to prepare a neighbourhood plan for Central Leigh.


Ashton-in-Makerfield is the main town in the south-west of Wigan Borough, close to the boundary with St Helens. It is a popular place to live, work and visit.

Our Plan for Ashton is the first part in helping to shape that future.

Government’s High Streets Taskforce visited Ashton in early 2022 and facilitated a series of workshops that explored what the future of the town centre may look like.

This has been used to help bid for funding from Round 2 of the Levelling Up Fund for Ashton Town Centre.


Atherton is located in the north-east of Wigan Borough, close to Leigh. Atherton’s centre continues to thrive as a bustling local town with a diverse mix of unique independent shops and leisure venues and a developing quality night-time economy with an increasing number of busy restaurants, cafes and bars.

There are many exciting opportunities for Atherton to take advantage of over the next few years. The Plan for Atherton highlights what we already have in the town and surrounding area, and what we can build on for the future.

Improvements for walking and cycling in Atherton, as well as Tyldesley and Leigh, have been included in a Greater Manchester Levelling Up Funding Bid.

© Wigan Council