New future for world famous Wigan Pier revealed

New future for world famous Wigan Pier revealed

Wigan Pier

Artist impressions of Step Places' vision for Wigan Pier as a mixed use leisure destination.

Exciting plans for a multi-leisure destination have been revealed for the regeneration of Wigan Pier. Step Places has been chosen by Wigan Council, in partnership with the Canal & River Trust, to take forward a world class vision to transform the historic Wigan Pier Quarter into a striking modern destination.

The plans to transform the currently derelict 18th century industrial buildings into a mixed-use leisure destination will be a catalyst for wider development in the area.

Wigan Pier is a historic site on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in central Wigan.

It was originally a coal loading jetty where wagons would unload coal on to canal barges.

It became famous through a music hall joke by George Formby Snr and through its appearance in the title of George Orwell’s graphic description of the plight of the English working class in the early 20th century ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’.

In 2014 Wigan Council announced the start of a 10 year regeneration programme to create a 'New Road to Wigan Pier'.

The three former industrial buildings on the Pier which will be transformed include The Warehouse, The Orwell public house, and the Education Centre.

The development partner Step Places is a rebrand of the FirstStep group who are well known across Greater Manchester and the North West for their regeneration schemes.

Harinder Dhaliwal of Step Places said: “Our proposals will see the buildings become a multi-functional leisure venue promoting arts culture and events.

“We are truly excited to be part of a partnership delivering such a world class venue and bringing life back to Wigan Pier respecting its past and heritage and looking forward to the future of a significant buildings of such local and national importance.”

The wider Wigan Pier Quarter has recently undergone a renaissance with the development of the Pier Centre conference centre and performance venue.

Councillor David Molyneux, deputy leader of Wigan Council, said: “Wigan Pier is one the most iconic locations in the North West.

“We have had long-held ambitions to create a new purpose for Wigan Pier as a destination and leisure attraction.

“Step Places’ vision for the Pier was from the outset extremely impressive and fulfilled everything that we hoped Wigan Pier would become.

“We are now in a position to share this vision and the real work starts now.

“We will support Step Places throughout the process and look forward to their plans being realised and Wigan Pier become a popular destination for people in the borough and beyond once again.”

Ian Sprott, from the Canal & River Trust, said: “Wigan Pier is an important part of the history of Wigan and the wider region.

“The Canal and River Trust is proud to have been a partner in securing a new future for the Wigan Pier Quarter and we are excited by the developer’s vision for the area.”

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The buildings at Wigan Pier:

The Warehouse

With a total of 23,200 sq ft the three storey warehouse was built in 1790 and served as an industrial warehouse and grain store until the late 20th century when it was converted into the Way We Were Museum. Its stunning timber interior has inspired a wide range of new use ideas.

The Orwell

Formerly Gibson’s Warehouse, The Orwell was originally constructed in 1777 and rebuilt in 1984 as The Orwell at Wigan Pier. Boats would originally moor inside the building and unload into the warehouse. The building has a total floorspace of 8,000 sq ft.

The Education Centre

Used to support education opportunities at The Way We Were Museum, the Education Centre has a total floor area of 4,500 sq ft.

Posted on Wednesday 21st March 2018

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