Revealing Wigan Archives and Leigh Local Studies Project

The Revealing Wigan Archives project will see the grade ‖ listed Leigh Town Hall refurbished in full and a new home for the archives created along with new museum and exhibition spaces with a new public searchroom.

Wigan Council secured a £1.3m investment from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the project which will transform the town hall, developing a new cultural offer and creating more opportunities for residents and visitors to discover the archives.

With historic records dating back 800 years the archives and local studies service collects, preserves and catalogues thousands of records from schools, churches, hospitals, businesses, families, estates, people, and makes them available to the public.

A new modern searchroom will be built on the ground floor of the town hall which can be accessed by residents and visitors who want to research their past. A museum space will be created with a new exhibition programme shaped by the community which will reveal stories from the archives and museum collections.

Children and young people will be able to access the collection and learn more about history with an outreach and engagement programme for schools. There will also be new volunteering opportunities for people to get involved with including helping to digitise collections, hosting visits, welcoming visitors and stewarding exhibitions.

Three vacant Leigh Town Hall shop units will be converted into new archives and museum exhibition space and additional shop units will be used as specialist storage to protect the collection, which will transform the Leigh archives base and restore part of the town hall building.

Project aims

Heritage Fund Logo

The project aims to develop a full scheme to carry out work in the following areas:

  • The creation of a new modern searchroom for access to the archives for customers and volunteers on the ground floor of Leigh Town Hall
  • A new museums and archive exhibition space and community room in the vacant shop units on the Market Street side of the Town Hall
  • New and renovated storage to increase archive capacity within the Town Hall for the Borough’s 800 year old collection of historic records
  • New conservation facilities for new and existing volunteers to help us conserve, catalogue and digitise collections cared for by the Archives
  • A new cafe space in the foyer of Leigh Town Hall
  • Facilities for groups, talks, workshops and schools wishing to visit the Archives
  • A programme of outreach and engagement activities, helping the Archives to both raise awareness of the Borough’s history and to encourage people to donate records to the Archives for preservation.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about the project or getting involved, we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch using our feedback form.


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