Demolition work paves way to £135m Galleries redevelopment

Town centre plans

Work has started on the £135m redevelopment of Wigan’s former Galleries shopping centre.

Demolition work is under way, and is expected to take around 18 months as part of the scheme’s first phase, after agreements were signed by developer Cityheart and Wigan Council with construction partner BCEGI.

Ground and enabling works for new buildings will begin in tandem as the demolition moves across the site. This sequencing will accelerate the provision of new leisure, retail, commercial and residential facilities in the town centre, allowing main building works to promptly start on cleared plots.

The first new building anticipated for completion is the new market hall, which is due to open its doors to the public in 2024. The existing Wigan Market and Makinson Arcade will remain operational throughout the development.

Cllr David Molyneux, leader of Wigan Council, said: “I’m pleased to see work officially starting on the Galleries and look forward to seeing the development progress over the next few years. This project is critical for the future of the town centre, with additional leisure and residential opportunities helping to attract more customers.”

He added: “We have seen the impact online shopping and the current cost of living crisis is having on town centres across the country and I’m pleased that we have a plan to reverse that decline and to make Wigan a thriving and vibrant town centre where people will choose to live, work, study and visit.”

Warren Taylor, director of Cityheart, said: “We have been working very closely with Wigan Council, the local retailers and the indoor and outdoor market traders, to ensure that the existing market hall can remain open and able to trade throughout the demolition works, similarly that neighbouring Makinson Arcade is kept open through all of the planned works.

“The redevelopment of this mixed-use scheme will bring significant economic, social and environmental benefits to the town of Wigan and dramatically transform its landscape, which is crucial to its future success.”

Aaron Adams, construction director of BCEGI, said: “This phase paves the way for construction to start in 2023. This is a very complex and challenging element of work that has been meticulously planned to cause minimum disruption.

“In keeping with BCEGI’s sustainability policies we will be reusing a large amount of material from the demolition within the new scheme to reduce the environmental impact of the development.”