|Urban Renaissance — Millions For Wigan’s Heritage and Regeneration
On The Way: The magnificent Trencherfield Mill at the heart of the Wigan Pier Quarter.
Exciting plans for the future of the Wigan Pier Quarter are one step closer to becoming reality today with the announcement that the project has received a massive £6m boost in the form of grant aid.
The funding success will now kick-start a wider multi-million pound regeneration project that will transform the quarter (the area surrounding the basin of the Leeds-Liverpool canal) into a cultural, heritage, tourism, business and leisure location of regional importance.
The cash comes from a number of sources, including the European Regional Development Fund, the Heritage Lottery, the North West Development Agency and the Regeneration Fund.
It will be used on five schemes, the largest of which involves the complete redevelopment of the magnificent Grade 2 listed Trencherfield Mill for commercial and social use, including the creation of stylish loft apartments and space for cultural and creative industries.
There will be a new heritage-themed attraction to sit alongside the world-famous Trencherfield Mill Steam Engine.
The grant aid will also contribute to the plans for a new performance venue, destined to become home to the Wigan International Jazz Festival and many more events.
Leader of Wigan Council Lord Smith described the announcement as ‘great news for the borough’. He said:
“The original redevelopment of Wigan Pier was a great boost to the regeneration of the borough. This latest redevelopment — The Wigan Pier Quarter — will add to the area bringing in more investment and more jobs to use our past to build for the future.”
Wigan Council Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration Cllr John O’Neill added:
“The council is working alongside Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust (WLCT), Salford-based developers Nuttalls, the local residents and other partners to establish a mixed-use quarter, delivering business opportunities, loft living and waterside leisure facilities for everyone in our borough and beyond to enjoy.”
As well as the redevelopment of Trencherfield Mill, grant aid will be directed at Eckersley Mills; the old Vulcanite site at the bottom of Pottery Road; two small sites owned by British Waterways and The Way We Were visitor attraction.
The partners hope to create an environment that follows in the footsteps of other successful North West regeneration projects such as Salford Quays and Liverpool’s Albert Dock.
Council regeneration experts believe 570 new jobs will be created as a result of the redevelopment and at least 13, often very large, buildings will be repaired.
Wigan Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and chair of the Regeneration Board Cllr Brian Baldwin said:
“The plans for the regeneration of the Wigan Pier Quarter are exciting and ambitious and the allocation of this funding means they will now begin to take shape.”
“This redevelopment will add to the prosperity of our borough in many ways through inward investment and new jobs through to top quality leisure and cultural experiences.”
Cllr Baldwin added:
“Wigan is shedding the outdated, stereotyped image that has persisted for generations and it’s thanks to exciting regeneration projects such as this one.”
“We must congratulate the regeneration team and the hard work of all the partners for making a successful bid for the money.”
“We are confident that very significant amounts of additional investment will follow in the years to come, ensuring that all the dereliction in the Pier Quarter disappears.”