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Have your sayGrand Arcade?

Grand idea? So many empty shops and units in Wigan town centre, do we need a Grand Arcade?

Should the art-deco style Ritz building be restored into a much needed Wigan theatre, or should it be demolished? What will happen to the Next and Bhs stores when they move?

 

John Williams from Wigan says...
THIS MONEY COULD BE BETTER SPENT IN FORMER PIT VILLAGES LIKE BICKERSHAW, ABRAM AND OTHER LOCAL PLACES.THE MONEY COULD ALSO BE SPENT ON GETTING KIDS OFF THE STREETS

 

charlie from pemberton says...
how ridiculous to spend all that money on more shops when we can't fill the ones in the gallerys! go to index and have a look around. why don't they build a new concert hall? a town the size of wigan with no concert hall. why?

 

Ron from Wigan says...
They don't need to build a concert hall we have one! The Ritz. Forget all about the 'Grand Arcade' fiasco and refurbish this great building. In it's time one of the biggest cinemas in England. I think it would hold around 2,000 people. I don't know how much of the original interior is left? However I am sure it could be rebuilt to it's former glory. What a great asset to the town. Instead of yet another White Elephant!!!! What nobody in Wigan wants. Except the council. Who are elected to represent OUR views Not their own. As I have already said somewhere else on the site. "Show me a new development, and I'll show you a few backhanders".

 

Rob from Wigan says...
It's a good idea, it will improve the area immensely as it is very run down at the moment, it will also attract bigger name shops such as HMV, Waterstones, Gap etc. so Wiganers don't have to go to Manchester or Liverpool all the time.

 

Carl from Ince says...
HMV, Gap, Waterstones? Have any of these agreed to come to Wigan? I doubt it very much. So far it seems that only existing busineses have signed up to new units like debenhams, M&S, Next... What will happen to their premises when they move? Hmm... VACANT.

 

len from wigan says...
open ur eyes and look around. why do the council and the goverment give grants and hand outs to build new buildings.there are so many dis used shops and buildings in wigan already. spend the money to renovate these buildings to there former gloury??? as u walk down the familier street look up at the arcitecture . demolish these buildings and u may never see them again . only quickly build fabricated block buildings . that to in time will stand empty !!!!

 

james robert from ashton says...
another white elephant for wigan town center, when will the council realise that wigan is no longer a single town but a borough that includes many smaller towns and villages and spend some money on their infastructure.We all pay the rates in what ever guise it takes, spread the money round a bit more evenly PLEASE. Any way you can't get into wigan town center as it is.

 

Barbara Johnson from Seattle USA says...
I left Wigan in 1985 and after going all through your website there does`nt seem to be any of the old wonderful Wigan left, I could weep when I see how many old buildings have gone. Great website.

 

Tim Cooke from Wigan says...
I agree with the majority. Keep the Ritz ! I work for the council, and I'm sick of them making rash and stupid decisions, that cost US the tax payer thousands of pounds. There is no variety in Wigan, if you want to see a show, you have to travel to Bolton, Preston, St.Helens, Bury, Manchester Etc. All the surrounding towns all have decent theatres, sometimes two. Get a life Wigan Councillors. Stop ripping the heart out of OUR town. Give us some variety. Not more shops, not more take-aways, not more pubs or nite clubs. But a decent Live venue. KEEP THE RITZ !!!

 

jim edwards from bryn says...
having worked on the galleries and seen all the empty shops, whats the point in building more shops, if the rental of these units where more reasonable perhaps there would not be as many empty.

 

Dennis Maycher & Bryan Rashurst from Wigan says...
Knock the Ritz down and build another strip club!

 

dan from shevington moor says...
Never read so much garbage in all my life.Anyone with an ounce of common sense will see that there's far too many tiny little units empty but absolutely nothing big enough to give the top retailers the size of unit they want. And what's all this about the council spending money - it's actually all private cash and that's the truth even if you don't want to believe it. Well said Rob from Wigan, let's get some decent shops in Wigan like waterstones and HMV.Get real the rest of you and join the 21st century!

 

Andi Scott from Bickershaw says...
Well HMV have allready bought a plot inside the new complex and i think its a great idea, something like that will bring buisness and with buisness coming in brings in more money then a constant level of cash to improove surrounding areas, if they spend all the money rebuilding wigan, they will run out of cash keeping it looking smart, and as for the empty shops maybe if the galleries lowerd the prices they may get rid of some of them.

 

Andrew Lomax from Tromso, Norway says...
I'm another Wiganer who emigrated in 1987. I must admit when I read about the Grand Arcade, the idea sounded really exciting at first, but after my last visit I changed my mind. The overpriced fashion chains and other business franchises just won't survive in down-to-earth Wigan. Don't spoil our town even further!

 

Jimmy Myers from Up Holland says...
Keep the Ritz, we can't fill the shops that we already have and it would be ashame to lose such a brilliant building. Restore it and have concerts again.

 

Joe McEwan from Parbold says...
KEEP THE RITZ! I was in there in July 2004 and despite being empty for 6 years it is STILL in remarkable shape. Very little water penetration and NO vandalism. Seriously, all you need is a vacuum, a hammer and some carpet cleaner (to get all the pigeon crap out) and hey presto - Wigan gets its much needed concert hall!

 

Adele Wilkes from Bryn says...
Mmm, another "Bright idea" from WMBC, not! They seem hell-bent on building more and more units across the borough. If it isnt Factory Units it's another Shopping Precinct! Have they gone mad, there are too many empty units/shops all over the place. Will the road infastructure be able to cope with the mass of traffic expected to traul through the Town? I doubt it! Will all the units/shops stay open for longer than they expect? I doubt it. Short-stay-fat-cats are after the big bucks they are promised for a short period of time and then when that runs out ... so do they and we are left with the empty holes all over the place. I am all for "new-jobs" and "more money into the area" but lets be realistic; these are only for a short period of time. For goodness sake look after what we already have and lets work from there. We have such beautiful architecture in and around our town centre, leave it alone money grabbers!!!

 

Paul Lange from Abram says...
There is no need for more shops in Wigan. As the large stores move out to the retail parks this creates empty properties in the town centre. Refurbish what we already have. More shops - less parking spaces = recipe for disaster.

 

Sha from Up Holland says...
Looking at the ritz i would say it needs some serious strctural work and much more than just a hoover. If we are going to do something then lets do it right, rebuild it if needs be. We need investment in the town centre. There is a lot of money in and arround wigan and most of it gets spent elsewhere.

 

Karl from Pemberton says...
I would have to agree with everyone else. Whats the point in creating more empty shops in a town already plagued with vacant shops. As a retailer in Pemberton, I and many more retailers would live the opportunity to move into the town centre, but are hindered with huge rents and rates. The money should be better spent incentivising us small retailers into the town centre, so that we can provide more choice to the consumers.

 

Gareth Jones from Higher Ince says...
Modern people don't want small over-priced retailers in the town centre. Now people call for big cheap stores that offer a large choice at low prices. It will be ashame to see old buildings go but thats history for ya.

 

J.B. from Winstanley says...
When this unnecessary construction gets underway the traffic problems will multiply, just look at it now, people will take their custom elsewhere for the duration and there will be more empty units boarded up after the usual novelty has worn off. Shoppers are creatures of habit. The planners should be really proud of themselves.

 

Dave from Kitt Green says...
Get real all you little towners! Wigan needs this shopping centre more than any concert hall. Who is meant to play in a concert hall that only holds 2000 people? I,ll tell you who, bands/ singers who can't attract 2000 people. So where does extra revenue come from there. I say build this shopping centre and let people come here instead of us having to go elsewhere. Just watch the town centre boom when it opens and starts to attract big stores and then maybe it will be worthwhile building a concert venue because of the extra interest in the town caused by this superb addition.

 

Chris Nestor from Hindley says...
Do up the Ritz, there are nowhere for bands to play we need a concert hall, and now the lux club has been shut down and will be soon demolished for a shoppign centre you need to have somewhere for prople to go other than king st too. Otherwise you could spend the money in Hindley there is no shops apart from poundshops and foreign kebab houses and boarded up derelicy buildings, give Market St. a facelift. The council never spends any money in Hindley, Ashton has a tow ncentre as does wigan and a park, Ince has a skate park but Hindley has nothing

 

Jayne from Orrell says...
Great idea to uplift the face of Wigan in a modern way. It would certainly make it a more pleasurable place to visit. However I think it will only work if you are planning to spend the right amount of money on reducing the congestion and utterly miserable journey most of us have to make to get to Wigan. In my oppinion the shops are empty because people just cant be bothered fighting their way into Wigan to spend their hard earned cash. Why should they when they can have an equally depressing journey to the Trafford Centre or Liverpool where they get better choice. If we build a new arcade, what makes you think businesses will move in. The existing arcade has never been full since it was new. i would love a new shopping centre but unfortunatly I dont think "if you build it they will come!" I thought in business you dont expand until your turnover increases. To increase your turnover you need to address the existing problems and they go alot deeper than changing the bricks design of a building.

 

Jen from Wigan says...
I think that if shops like HMV and Waterstones are coming, then they should DEFINATLEY turn it into a shopping centre because teenagers (my age) don't have that many good shops here. But if they weren't coming, and it was only marks and spencers and debenhams, then it should be made into a theatre, because then we wouldn't have to go to manchester and liverpool to watch great shows like the west end tours!

 

John smith(real name) from hindley says...
Once wigan was a proud town with a market like no other along came the modern monster and gobbled it up now the is only an architechs nightmare and motorist worst fear wigan town centre 2004 Arrrgh bring back old wigan!!!!!!!!!

 

Tom from Wigan says...
Stop moaning you bunch of grumps. Whats wrong with Wigan trying to get better quality town centre? Its good for the town and trade so stop sulking!

 

Peter Kay (YES ITS ME!) from Bolton says...
Ave it! Pull over to paradise in Wigan! It sounds great!

 

James from (Ex-Wiganer) says...
One of the biggest problems for Wigan town centre must surely be competition from Robin Park. Robin Park is also really unsustainable - entirely centred around the car: the stores are too far apart for walking and the site has poor transport links. It has taken trade away from the traditional town centre and clogged up our road systems.

 

Anthony Mason from Wigan says...
Have been in the Ritz on many occasions and can say it is in great shape. To loose such a building would be to loose the last link with not only our past but also with sensible thought. It could be included in the new building work, it is water tight and preserved amazingly well, now the bingo has left (11 Nov 2004) is is liable to be vandalised. Such a waste, a criminal waste. It's not too late, save it!! If you feel the same support me mr.anthonymason@virgin.net, together we might make a difference.

 

Mark from Kitt Green says...
Arcade or not, you still wont be able to get into town to use it. I try to avoid going into Wigan as much as i can. The money for this project would be better used elsewhere.

 

louise from ashton says...
i think the arcade is a great idea! the ritz has been empty for this long now... so what! demolish it and lets see some proper retail therapy going on in wigan. its a pain having to travel to manchester etc lets put wigan on the map!!!

 

nat from wigan says...
i think that you should build it because people are sick ov seein the same shops in the town center all the time

 

colin from wigan says...
No I don't think they need a new shopping centre in Wigan, a lot of shops in the ones we already have are empty. There is a shop in the Marketgate arcade that has been empty for donkeys years, the one that used to be Freezerite (or sommat like that)

 

sheri moon from wigan says...
i don't think we need it the money could go to making the galleries better all thoses empty shops downstairs need sorting out but if we have a new arcade it will bring more ppl into wigan it's a yes and no answer for me

 

Me from Wigan says...
Stuff it, nuke the whole of the town and start from scratch :) saying that all the Grand arcade will have in it are girly fassion shops selling exactly the same as every other shop out there and a rash of mobile phone shops and the uk has WAY too many of them now. And the reason the shops are empty is cos they're not on a major thorough fare, if they're out of sight they're out of mind, really supprised that Index has stayed open, saying that, if HMV and waterstones and others move into the grand then the galleries will become empty as will all the other shops at that end of Wigan. Hell get on a train and go to Manchester its better anyway

 

Paul Allerston from Ashton says...
In 23 and I think Wigan has tamed the wild nightlife it used to have 4-5 years ago and I have no problem going out there now, but as for shopping, they must learn that people would rather travel to the trafford centre than 'make do' with what wigan has. Build a new train station!!!!

 

sasen from Wigan says...
Could someone tell me where we are going to park in Wigan when they knock down the multi storey's, for all these shops.

 

Cliff from Wigan says...
I agree with most of the comments reg the Ritz. Wigan is small MARKET TOWN, always was and should always be. It,s a though our Local Council Planners have serious notions that Wigan could compete with the large cities within easy reach of us for the local peoples shopping needs,any person with an ounce of intelligence that it could never be, fancy,glassfronted arcades with escalators and lifts etc,doesn,t bring cheap bargain goods for Wiganers just the inflated prices the retail trade have to charge to cover their overheads,rent etc,just the other day I saw in a shop window in Makinsons arcade, a short sleeve shirt on sale at he bargain price of £85-99. Come on! This is Wigan,canny shoppers,looking for bargains, £86 for a shirt? We are a small Town on the top of a small hill with four main streets surrouded on three sides by our river douglas,we could never be another Manchester,they should leave our little town alone and stop ripping the heart out. People can just jump on a train to Manchester for £2-40 return,leaving every 35 mins or so,shop till they drop,then home in 35mins. Lets stop comlaining about the council just vote em out next time,as if we would,we vote them in,because we,re all natural labour supporters andthey know it.so next time vote them out! What say you!

 

JeanB from Wigan says...
What is the point of building a new 'Grand Shopping Arcade' when you can't get there - you are bumper to bumper from any road into Wigan (and avoid the road to/from Wigan Infirmary at all costs (you know what I mean). If you are not crawling along, then you are gridlocked, avoid the 'school run' and the 'bus-lane' hours; if you did manage to get there - could you find a parking space? Especially if you have a disabled Husband and Parent as I have. What a waste of money!!

 

Catherine Rosbottom from Louisville KY USA Formerly of Wigan says...
Anything that can be done to preserve the lively town centre in Wigan must be good for the town. Hopefully, Wigan won't end up like lots of American towns with small strip malls every couple of miles and no soul in the town centre. Robin Park was only the start of the slippery slope towards killing the town centre. Lets hope that the planners include proper car parking in the arcade!

 

Cliff from Wigan says...
Car parking in Wigan is always going to be a problem. Ok! people want to park as near as they can to the shops they want to visit, naturally. The town planners seem to be too short sited,in years to come, with more cars on the road,the average now must be 2 cars per household and soon it will 3 then 4, Mother and dad have one each,the kids,17,18,19 years old will all have one, nothing wrong in that, here,s the twist, people will have to park on the JJB retail park, if they wish to visit our new grand Arcade! Watch this space,very soon I see the Mesnes playing field as a parking lot, then perhaps,Mesnes Park, who knows? They,ve boxed themselves in "no where to run,no where to (park) hide. and who builds a (ringroad) virtually through the centre of town? We do! It will be interesting to see how this pans out over the next 10yrs.

 

John Aspinall from Wigan says...
Sorry to read all the negative comments about the new development. I'm all in favour of keeping and restoring the best bits of old Wigan but the Station Road area is hardly worth preserving. Its no good moaning about the dying town centre if people don't accept the need to develop and expand. Wigan has to keep pace with other towns and out of town developments.

 

Ray Cruise from Wigan says...
Its about time WIGAN joined the 21st Century. They need new developments - Look at leigh practically getting the go ahead for its new village - What does Wigan have? Its time to progress with the times kicking and screaming if have to but it still needs to be done nonetheless

 

AndyB from Wigan says...
it is important that this Grand Arcade is built. It has to be seen as a positive statement, showing Wigan as being a progresive town wishing to attract employment and retain and increase shoppers. Too many people are presently shopping at Manchester, Liverpool, Warrington and the Trafford Centre which is having a detrimental effect on the local economy.Wake up Wiganers and warm to the idea, progress can be good for the long term future of the town.

 

karen d from wigan (unfortunately) says...
i am born and bred here but i dont like the place anymore. This labour government and this council have tried to destroy any history this country has. Wigan used to be full of lovely buildings and a real pleasure to live in.We will have nothing left to remind us of we used to be. A lot could have been done in restoring the ritz and the casino to name but a few.I work in Wigan and the last place I want to do my shopping is here. Most of the people look like down and outs with no pride in their appearance.Lacking in any social skills,I could go on but i wont.

 

DAVID from HINDLEY says...
WIGAN NEEDS MORE SHOPS LIKE A HOLE IN THE HEAD MOST OF THEM ARE EMPTY NOW JUST LIKE OUR COUNCIL LEADERS ,LEAVE THE RITZ ALONE AND DEMOLISH THE COUNCIL THAT WOULD SAVE US ALL A SHED LOAD OF MONEY IF THEY WANT TO PULL DOWN SOME BUILDINGS HOW ABOUT BORSDANE SHOPPING PRECINCT IN HINDLEY

 

some bloke from wigan says...
Has anybody seen the list of shops moving from the Galleries to the the Grand New Arcade? you.ll be surprised! The councils next project will be,yeh,you guessed. Demolishing the Galleries for Grand arcade 2. Then here we go, the big stores go from grand arcade 2 will go to? you know what I mean. Shame though, to lose what could have been a really great asset to the the Town as a great Entertainment venue as the Ritz could have been,

 

some other bloke from Wigan says...
Another short sighted flop. The Wigan Pier Experience, One of the so called most visited heritage centre attractions "Closed" Now that was money down the Canal. The Heritage of Wigan is not a wharehouse on the canal bank, its in the town and its people,so lets stop knocking it down and hold on to what we have left.

 

Leigh chap from Leigh says...
Someone mentioned Leigh sports Village,i heard from a good source, on the last minute some guy from Cecil St, has objected? So its now still blowing in the wind. We,ve no chance of getting anywhere,we can,t even get a railway station!

 

stephen from marus bridge wigan says...
I have read most of these comments people have written in favor of a new shopping centre in wigan, YES me to im ready for some new shops can't do us any harm having more shops, but why do they need to be in a new shopping mall when there are shops vacant in the gallerys where these shops could be allocated.Getting on to music halls, YES Im all in favor of that too, lets not forget our teenagers in wigan, I am now in my 40s and still remember going to the casino which was closed down to extend the civic buildings and guess what the council still have not done that, I for one think the council need to remember who voted them in and were there loyalties lie, with outsiders who come into WIGAN to shop occasionally or the people of this Great town .

 

vic king from wigan says...
Why bother opening more shops in town when the council plan on making the bus lanes in wallgate a permanent 12 hour a day thing. What lunatic thought that one up i don't know because pottery rd and saddle junction are a nightmare unless of course your on a bus, so who wants to go shopping in town you may as well go to retail park instead of sitting in traffic for half an hour. (GRIDLOCK)

 

joe pendlebury from winstanley says...
the council should be investing in proper jobs for wiganers,how can people afford to shop in these fancy priced shops if most people dont have a decent income. by the way what has this ian mc cartney mp, (allegedly) done for wigan. apart from enhancing his own career, very little.

 

lee from winstanley says...
very soon the centre of wigan will resemble a badly built new town of the 50,s/60,s such as skelmersdale or many poorly planned shopping centres such as the bull ring or portsmouths (both demolished due to dwindling numbers and poor design) if the grand arcade is anything like the quality of shop on the robin park complex then i forsee a life span of a couple of years before = a, it is gradually turned into flats/apartments. b,to cover the costs, council tax will rise due to figures not being met

 

Craig from NYC says...
Wigan messed up when they closed down the Casino. It is now known world wide, just think of the money your town would have had. ah well

 

George from Wigan says...
The Ritz in its heyday was magnificent.Huge corinthian columns flanked the 50 ft wide stage.smaller corinthian columns flanked the stage boxes and others continued to meet the grand circle pillasters marked out the panels on the side walls behind the columns.The ceiling was composed of a huge shallow dome surrounded by a greek key motif.All the other low relief decoration was also classical in design.The main colour scheme was creme bronze and gold. Concealed lighting lit the dome side walls and the corinthian capitals of the columns.The original stage curtain was of the cascade design in a white silk like material and was lit from below in an ever changing range of colours.this was later changed to a center opening one of gold coloured velvet and later still to one of white fiber glass to comply with the then fire regulations.Above the Art Deco foyer with windows looking out on to station road was a full silver service restaurant.The wonderful classical auditorium always came as a surprise after the Art Deco exterior and foyer.As can be seen from the outside the Ritz has a large fly tower.Below the stage there were at least 7 large dressing rooms and a large orchestra room under the front of the stage.The stage whilst very wide is at 20ft on the shallow side.But in its day the stage has accomodated musicals such as Oklahoma,Carousel,Call me Madam, White Horse Inn, King and I and others All with full scenery cast and orchestra.The interior of the Ritz was never a clone of others in a chain.But one of a kind.By the way the full seating capacity was 2500. I Know this because I played there when the House Full notices were on display in the foyer.What a pity that such a wonderful venue the town had,and could have again, will in all probability be destroyed.

 

lora from abram says...
GO 4 IT WIGAN:p IT WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE SOME NEW SHOPS AROUND.

 

Derek Culshaw (Cullie) from Ince, Wigan says...
Its a real shame to see the old town being pulled down around our feet, everyday i drive past Wigan, and slowly bit by bit it's Disappearing! The only fond Memories i have is watching "star wars" and all the superman movies in the ritz. Spend the money on a seperate football/rugby ground. Uncle joe eat your heart out!

 

Cliff Duxbury from Standish says...
I remember t'owd market hall wi fondness, rats n all. But cast thi eye at splendid gallery wi ave nar. This'll tek town forad to next step. A shall luk forad to avin a pie int new precinct n al raise a glass to it.

 

s.kelly from hindley says...
a waste of time

 

sarah from wigan says...
The Arcade should be good. Wouldnt build a ritz, would build a hall for live bands,restaurant and a ball room,with optional disco or optional modern ball atmosphere depending on the mood. Discos are good and ball type nights are good especially with a good act. Something to add to the magnificent Arcade.

 

- from wigan says...
Dont bother with this s stupid arcade, just fill up the empty shops with stores like HMV instead of re-doing the whole thing, its pointless. I Hate people with there stupid ideas of knocking down something old and wasting money building a new shopping centre, WE ALREADY GOT ONE! just use ur frigging head and get the empty shops re-opened and use money to clean up all the litter and chewing gum and get trouble makers off the streets.

 

Elizabeth from Wigan, Golborne says...
The Grand Arcade, what a Grand Idea Wigan Council has for itself! I agree with most comments on this subject that the council are yet again spending money without our consent. If they actually consulted their constituents within the Borough I'm sure that would rather see the money spent on something for the younger members of our community! Afterall they are the ones who we should be investing in instead of filling their heads with ideas of multinational brands!!!

 

tuwoski from wigan says...
It's criminal that the Ritz is going to be demolished. An absolute (bleeping) waste. They could have built the arcade somewhere else. I was under the impression that the Ritz was waiting for a buyer. I mean someone must have owned it musn't they ? I wonder how much the council paid them ? I think this was the last chance for entertainment in Wigan. In the pubs they just switch a tv on and say there you go that's MTV - sorry, it's not good enough. The Ritz is a business venture that could have been supported by this council. It could have had bands, comedians, talent nights. Now it can have a spud u like or a (bleeping) new place for primark to park it's discount behind. I'm all for regeneration and improving Wigan for the better but does bulldozing one of Wigan's last standing show-pieces make sense to anyone ? The decision makers at the Council don't live in this town, don't give a toss and mismanage our assets and resources because they are as incompetant as the people that employed them.

 

Adele from Bryn says...
I have to say this page makes gr8 reading. There are so many views on updating Wigan by looking after what we already have. I was so shocked when I saw the first demolition 'ball' go through the Ritz! I couldnt believe it. I honestly (niavely) thought WMBC would leave it alone - like I said, niavely! I remember queing there every Saturday morning with my school mates to watch a film. Yes, Wigan needs to be upgraded, yes we need more shops and jobs, but I stick by what I said before, let's look after what we already have and 'build' from there. So much of our heritage is being cruelly destroyed. Trencherfield Mill is another classic example! WMBC are a Unitary Council for one reason only. Control. And control means money. To the detriment of Wigan itself and not for the it's benefit!

 

Nik from Wigan says...
why not incoporate the ritz building, what's wrong with a cinema in the arcade? Trafford centre has one. I don't see a problem with 2 cinemas in wigan.

 

stephen from barrow in furness says...
i like the plans they are top dog as we have bugger all in barrow. I think i might move too the wigan area as it is central compared to boring barrow

 

Dave from WIGAN says...
WHAT A LOAD OF MOANERS.
LETS MOVE FORWARD IN TIME.ALL THOSE WHO WISH TO LIVE IN THE PAST MOVE AWAY. ONE WAY OR ANOTHER YOU WILL BE DRAGGED INTO THE 21ST CENTURY.

 

Cherry B. from Wigan says...
Yet another monstrosity to take place of a special historical site.The Roman ruins unearthed in Millgate could have been a great tourist attraction as well as a source of pride for us true Wiganers.Our council members are culture vultures well maybe just vultures .They dont seem to be concerned with trying to keep this town unique.Wigan will soon appear as souless as many other towns.

 

robyn from st helens says...
i always love to go shopping in wigan.but the galleries with all its empty shops is depressing.im in retail and we are very popular where we are in widnes as we sell stuff that is unusual and that noone else around us sells.i made extensive enquiries 12 months ago about getting one of the shops in the galleries.it would hve been easier getting into fort knox!io dont think they want to rent any of the shops in the galleries going on my experience and we have a friend who retails in wigan an he tried the same thing with the same result.he gave up trying too.if you want your town centre to look like every other town centre then charge ridiculous rents that only the high street multiples can afford and thats exactly what youll get.me, i like a town with a bit of character and individuality,but its not happening these days.only multi million pound companies can afford to rent shops in town centres these days.one day you wont have any choice cos all the small traders will be gone.

 

Julie from Orrell says...
Do we really want to lose the personality of our small city centre, I rarely go out of Wigan because I don't feel safe in the like of Liverpool and Manchester. We're already creating a war zone for the night owls. Being honest, it really doesn't matter what we say - if they don't take notice. It's all just hot air........shame.

 

joe from aspull says...
bet all of you shop in the grand arcade when its built. im only 15 and i know its going to be good for wigans economy. yes we will lose some classic buildings like the ritz but it was vacent anyway, whats the point it being there and no one using it. i also think its a good idea becuase it creates some more employment.

 

mick from wigan says...
All said and done now..the ritz is no more.. but more shops is not the way forward..we should be bringing people back to live in the town by building affordable accomadation right in the middle of it.
include proper theatres and show venues and put a stop to boozing yobs sicking up all over the place.... Bring some proper class back in to town with sensible police patrols etc...

 

val from Wigan says...
We are losing all our heritage. Stairgate has been wiped away without a by your leave. Peter Kay would say 'Ave it' cos its not in Bolton!!!! It'll come ta thee Pete!!

 

Cadfael from Wigan says...
A good opportunity missed!

I live in Ince, and if I want to go to the movies it is a hike. Waiting for 2 busses to get to Robin Park, and the hit and 'miss' the bus journey home.

How much better it would have been to incorporate the old Ritz into the new development and GIVE US A TOWN CENTRE CINEMA!!! It could also have been used for other purposes.

 

tom from wigan says...
i dont think we need it at all! We have enough shops in Wigan I mean what other shops could we possibly have!

 

Adele from Bryn says...
Hey ho, the land for the 'new arcade' is almost flat. Our heritage of Roman Past has been noted, the Stairgate and the Ritz gone; now all we can do is wait. I sincerely hope that the project will go well, however, I also hope that the other parts of Wigan Town Centre will not suffer. The downstairs area of the Galleries is almost desolate if it were not for the Continental Cafe and Spec' Savers. But how long will both businesses survive? Will they close and vanish for ever? Or will they up-sticks and move into the new arena? Who knows? Only the people of Wigan really care, the Metro dont seem to give a stuff really, do they? They destoyed the indoor Market. Like I said, we can only but wait and see ...

 

brett age 13 from wigan says...
i think we need this big shoppin mall because we have shops that are closed down so we need room for other shops and more room for more products and with this mall alot of money will be made which will help our comunity well it should. this mall should be amazing and we all can be happy shoppin all the shops that were replaced by this mall will be inside possible and other great shops will so stop whining and look foward to 1 of the greatest shopping malls in wigan

 

steve from wigan says...
what difference will a new shopping arcade make to the town. more saturday afternoon congestion? more expensive parking? even more empty shops in the galleries? if we want a big shopping day we've got the likes of liverpool, manchester and the trafford centre, all a cheap train ride away...
farce. waste of money. theyve runined the town yet again...

 

Andy Green from inverness says...
I Left wigan in 2003 to live in the Sottish highlands , i now find that the wigan i once knew will be gone for ever ( Star Wars wigan ABC 1977 ) age 9 !! very sad.

 

Matt from Hawkley Hall says...
Why Spend money on a new shopping centre when we can have more SPEED BUMPS!!!!!!!!!!!!! total waste of money in my opinion.

 

Andy from Wigan says...
I agree with most of the comments - why not spend the money fixing up the old shopping centres - such as where Index used to be, fill in the old units and have a decent town centre rather than attempting to create a 'mini trafford centre' in somewhere it doesnt belong.

 

Carl N Twigz from Shevinco says...
I think it is a great idea it will make people go to wigan town centre more and like the person said at the top to get kids of streets it would because kids would go to the shops if there was good shops so open your eyes people its a belting idea go for it bloody yea

 

king from wigan(Worlds greatest) says...
fix old buildings it's cheaper then build new entertainment stuff

 

Cheryl from Pemberton says...
im really dissappointed that they have pulled down the gorgeous old ritz building in order to build yet more shops. I regularly go into town shopping and it seems like there is always one shop or another either having a closing down sale or already vacant. I cant see the need for any more shops in the town centre when lots of the units are already empty. Another question as well regarding the new shops is why have the council in their wisdom reduced the ammount of parking spaces in the town centre when they are obviously expecting this new development to bring in more people (maybe everyone will walk or use the bus)? Im not so sure either that the shops will do anything to keep kids off the streets. Once the novelty value of the new arcade has worn off the kids will still do the same things they do now. The council would have been better investing its money into something more productive instead of more of the same.I think that wigan has lost a great opportunity for something really special by demolishing the ritz as all of these old cinema buildings are coming back into fashion after many years of standing empty as concert halls or old style cinemas once again. Its just a real shame that our town has lost out in order to have another bland faceless shopping centre that we dont need.

 

Tone Clarke from Manchester says...
This is quite an interesting discussion board. I have spent a lot of time in Wigan in the past and I have to agree with a previous post that the local council should have approached the redevelopment of the town centre from a different angle.

Wigan has a rich cultural history and this should have been included in redevelopment planning. By creating another characterless shopping centre, devoid of architectural integrity, the planners are indeed tearing the heart out of the town.

The Trafford Centre should act as a warning to town planners, not a blueprint. With the redevelopment of the city centre, following the 1996 IRA bombing almost complete, Manchester now has a vibrant heart again. Many Mancunians bemoan the changes to the city since the 1980's but in reality Manchester was a grim depressing centre, dominated by the abominable Arndale. Whilst a large chunk of this still exists and Market St. remains a city equivalent of a small town shopping centre like Wigan's, the true heart of the city remains in the Northern Quarter and across town around the Oxford Road area.

This is where Wigan planners are missing a trick. It's true that the new cultural quarter at the Pier will go some way to fulfilling the art and heritage needs of the town but that logic should have been carried through to the town centre. You only have to travel to other small towns across the UK to witness the shiny new shopping centres, bereft of character. Remove the road signs from almost any town in Britain and they would become anonymous, interchangeable.

Mick mentioned including low cost housing in redevelopment plans. This is the only way to breathe real life into a centre. There are many detractors of this model who decry redevelopment as yuppification. Frankly, this is outdated. The models of East London, Liverpool Docks and many areas of central Manchester have proven successful.

Taking care (and risks) with architecture and providing a percentage of "affordable" housing, within each area of development creates a vibrancy and cultural mix that develops organically. Penniless artists rubbing shoulders with millionaire business owners in Wigan? Sure.

It's obviously too late for the Ritz now (shame on the planners, just look to Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall or Manchester's Cornerhouse) but the sentiment is still valid. Any redevelopment should include areas of cultural or historic value and this, of course, should be celebrated at ground level. Museums, galleries, concert halls, theatres and sports venues and entertainment venues used and worked hard by schools and town visitors.

Imagine a new generation of school children growing up with regular access to a wide variety of sports, great art, fun museums, theatre, world cinema, well stocked libraries, classical and contemporary concerts.

The alternative is a characterless shopping centre filled with faceless corporate outlets, selling fashion uniforms for automatons. The teenagers constantly being moved along by harrassed security officers. Do you want your child growing up with the prospect of spending their freetime gazing longingly through shop windows at the latest branded track suit that they can't afford. Encouraged by a credit card society to buy happiness now and pay later. A track suit that cost 39p to manufacture in a South Korean sweat shop. Are we still shocked by juvenile crime figures?

Town planners must realise that it is not just a matter of £ per square foot. Aplan that works in the long term is a plan that takes risks from the outset.


 

shirley from wigan says...
And there was I thinking that Wigan was proud of its heritage?

I must be mistaken. I must be thinking of somewhere else.

If they continue along this disaster route that they’ve apparently started on, then in a few years time the only place we will all be able to go for any history is the history shop and even that will be stuck in a new building. Maybe they should just upend everybody in one go and flatten Wigan once and for all, if that’s what they want. Then when they’ve rebuilt the whole lot to modern buildings they can move everybody back. Unless they want to get rid of the Wiganers as well.

Anybody that believes that it’s a good thing knows nothing about the true Wigan and maybe isn’t a true Wiganer at heart.

ANCIENT AND LOYAL - remember that before you next applaud the changes.

 

tony from wigan says...
they should spend more money on opening a estate to put all the riff raff instead of shops how can they do good shops when nobody in wigan has the money with the amount of poor people and poor estates

 

robert from standish says...
i think it is a brill idea and i would love to go for a look around and look in some cool shops especialy some good book ones. my sister were she lives they have just built a new arcade and everybody loves it so i think people here will love this arcade

 

dave from bolton from bolton says...
well it the same old story wiv wigan they wait till every other town got there building up and running ,and when they look around in 3-5 years time it all come out? why ? why? why did we want this in the first place ,more shops will be closing away due to the (internet world)come wiganers used your loaf it only to keep up wiv the jones .

 

Rob from Wigan says...
Well the arcade is flying up now and looks like it's going to be massive, it also appears to have triggered other interest in that part of Wigan with the new "Tower", interest in th old town hall site and the ugly police station shortly being demolished and replaced with a new development. The new baths and the the pier quarter scheme means Wigan will be a very different place in 5 years or so. I suppose only time will tell what happens to the old bhs, debenhams stores. I don't think shops like the current Next will struggle to find new tennants when they move into the GA. The latest GA news and webcam can be found here www.grand-arace.com

 

craig t from lower ince says...
it would nice to sort the traffic in wigan before new shopping centres

 

dave from bolton says...
it a shame to see the old town of wigan being ripped apart by these ,new cheap brick buildings modern shop fronts and glass outlets just to sell topbrand names,it only amatter of time people will get really fed up before long of tryin to get into wigan ...unless of course you live in them flats across the road ...it take 20 min for a 2 mile journey come on let get this rite what the point if the traffic is bloody chocablock,bring back the old trams .

 

Michael Ward from Leigh says...
I don't think Wigan needs the Grand Arcade - there are already too many empty units. But all the talk of invest in this, invest in that is rubbish - the money funding the grand arcade is all private money and the developers will only invest in a project that they believe will bring them a profit. Everything else can be forgotten.

 

Bob from Wigan says...
I suggest that everyone reads captive state by george monbiot, it tells of similar towns to wigan and how companies have destroyed towns to build un needed ventures by bribing the government, it sounds very similar to the case of Wigan and the grand arcade.

 

Ste from Wigan says...
I think as long as there are plenty pie shops in there i think it is a good thing for all the people in st helens, leigh, bolton liverpool etc to come here and taste our local delicasy

 

Kev from wigan says...
you would think they would have learnt their lesson pulling Central park down

 

Nick from Copenhagen says...
Wigan should rebuilt the famous, Wigan casino. there would be 1000s flock there again, people of all ages. What a big piece of Northern Soul history wigan has.

 

Louise from Wigan says...
For the 20 years i've been here i've also noticed some of the stupid things that wigan council have demolished! As for people mentioning The Ritz cinema, i totally agree that it should be refurbished and brought back! it was a huge asset to us wigan folk, i think the council fail to realise that it would also have brought in alot more custom.. and this stupid new arcade.. what a ridiculous idea! i know we are lacking in loads of shops but we fail to fill vacant spaces in the town centre so god help the new arcade!

 

Sandy from Wigan says...
All I can say its about time we have a decent centre and decent shops.
The revenue that it will bring in will be good for the town and also it will bring more people in from the outskirts.
Also what about all the jobs it will create and also it will tidy up a much needed town instead of looking like a bomb site.
Plus what about the increase in homes as it will make a more desirable area.
So all you people who are stuck in the 70s get a grip and think positive.

 

Dave Quinton from Golborne says...
To be honest Wigan needs decent shops. There is no specialist bookshop in Wigan, which is a bit shocking to be honest. If you need anything out of ordinary you have to travel to either Manchester or Bolton. I used to live in Ipswich so when I moved up here I was a bit surprised at the lack of shops in Wigan town centre. So I say bring it on.

 

barabas from Wigan says...
The main objection people seem to have is that a disused building was demolished to create this. Let's be realistic the rest of the site was a C**P hole, maybe the ritz could have been incorporated but who would have paid the millions needed to restore it? The whole of the town centre is going to have a mini revival with the GA, The Wigan Tower, The pier development, The new baths, The new development instead of the ugly police station (soon to be demolished thank god) When all this is done i doubt people will seriously be able to turn around and say it was better how it used to be.

 

Jane from Swinley says...
We should be proud so many people care about Wigan..hopefully as Kev said,we do not want another Central Park scenario,lets keep our fingers crossed that this turns out for the best. Can we not have both...a fantastic new shopping centre and a fantastic live venue hall?? Maybe we may see more future stars born and bread from Wigan if they have the inspiration from a young age.

 

Shaun from wigan says...
NO GRAND ARCADE!

 

Jamie from Wigan says...
I am not that interested in the new arcade. It's an even worse idea than the upside down houses in Scholes. A car park to hold 800+ cars? Do we need any more pollution in Wigan? Forget the opportunities for new shops, I like visiting Bolton and Manchester to buy clothes! £80 a month council Tax for me on my own? Thanks a lot!!

 

Dave from Golborne says...
Small shops may be emptying but that is a different situation to the creation of the GA. Large retailers deserted or ignored Wigan long ago due to lack of space, opting for City centres like Manchester. The GA means that people can travel x amount of miles to shop here in Wigan for specialist outlets rather than years of it being the other way around. Whilst WE can access top quality varied shopping. It looks great and anticipate the opening.

 

Dave from Wigan says...
Do we really expect businesses in the new arcade to flourish when the transport links to the town centre are a disgrace. It can take over 30 minutes to travel from Marus Bridge into the town, in the same time you can travel to the Trafford Centre. The council and highways authorities should Get a grip with the road links to ensure Wigan is a town that people want to visit time and again.

 

barabas from wigan says...
RE - The roads. The council have the plans dave but not the funding from the government!

 

Ben Cusick from Wigan says...
Personally i think that the GRAND ARCADE is a stupid idea, i mean, come on, they cant even fill the galleries (can they) so why on earth they are making this BLOT ON THE LANDSCAPE, god only knows, i think that this money could be better spent on more stupid ideas of the councils like, roundabouts made out of paint, that are more likely to cause acedents than prevent them, and while i am here i want to have a moan because i live on PLATT LANE and we STILL havnt got our green bins!!!!!!!
from ben.c in wigan
and comments please come to my guestbook @ www.bcusick.piczo.com
thanx

 

Gemma from Wigan says...
I think its going to be good, the shops round wigan now are crap we need somewhere good to shop lets just hope its as good as it sounds!

 

me from abram says...
Yer we deffo need ths as a shopping centre. im fed up of having to go to manchester everytime i wanna go shopping. get it up and put us some decent shops in there !! And if your going to be putting duplicants in of shops we already have in wigan then what is the point in that ?!?! Get all new shops in which we dont have such as o'neil etc. And we deffo need a STARBUCKS!!!!! Indeed we do !! =]] So bring it on yer !

 

John S from Wigan says...
With just a little under 12 months to go before the ludicrous construction is opened, and assuming the target date is on time, should we not now be planning the demolition of the Galleries and return it to it's former glory which we all knew and loved? I refer to the Market Square of course, and everything associated with REAL WIGAN OF YESTERYEAR. If you think that's daft consider this: they started it. It takes 2 to tango. Answers on a post card......

 

ste from wigan says...
The last thing we need is another shopping centre, the roads are congested enough,or has the metro got a magic solution for this perhaps toll rds in the planning goin into town ctr.food for thought...

 

L from Wigan says...
The reason we have so many empty shops in wigan is MOT due to the traffic and the councils road works, but the High Business rates imposed, and no more free parking.
I moved my business here from Liverpool as it was cheaper....Ill be taking back there too

 

Brenda Evans nee Atherton from born in abram emigreated to adelide oz in 72 says...
please please please leave wigan alone .every time i visit they have pulled something down and put up something ugly. lets keep the wonderful RITZ it did us all proud for all those years with its beauty and hours of enjoyment. let us keep one good building that we all loved at some time. ask anyone anywere about the RITZ IN WIGAN and you will be flooded with great memories from all ages. lets have one building that we can all be nostalgic about ,and that wigan town center if famous for . say NO to more shops and YES to leave the RITZ standing . theres a lot of life in the old girl yet ,so give wigan what she needs .
a great place to have concerts,movies and and entertainment.
get off your orange boxes you council lot and stop spending money on more flippin shops when so many others stand emptyfrom one wiganer to another ,,, i say ,,, leave the grand old lady RITZ were she stands....

 

Allie from Hindley says...
Well personally, though I take on board other people's comments, I think it's a great idea. I have had to commute into Manchester for 4 years to work and shop and it's beyond tiresome. Now there'll be new jobs and I won't need to go 40 minutes out just to buy a new pair of shoes. I agree with comments regarding big retailers too - as a student I didn't have a chance of being able to buy any of my books in Wigan. New shops will bring some vitality and culture (yes, culture), and keep from turning people away with needs greater than those that can be serviced by Marks & Spencers and Iceland.

 

Jonathan Dillon from Wigan says...
You're all wrong, Wigan is a town on the up and what's the next stage up from town? A city, and so we should have used the money to build a cathedral. Wigan will be the next City.

 

Swift from Wigan says...
Looks dull,I reckon it will be yet another "empty" space in the town. Why do we insist on killing the character of the place? The old Market Hall had character only to be replaced by that architectural piece of art the Galleries! The people commisioning these soulless places obviously have no feel for Wigan.
They commission public "art" which only has meaning to the eliteists and not the masses, with no effective interpretation to give it meaning. They are now on the verge of denying us a decent arts venue. Perhaps the decision makers have them in their own towns? I'm sure none of them live here or they'd do much better.
If we are to regenerate at least involve the folk of Wigan. The council has a buzz word - consult (course you do!).
I'm afraid that the town is now like all of the other sterile towns; same shops, same accents and same uninspiring design. Thanks to the planners and Council who agree to these development plans.

 

Jade from Wigan says...
I think the Grand Arcade is a terrible idea. The traffic into Wigan is murder already as it is and it will only get worse. Plus, what will happen to the galleries whenall the stores move? Which shop is going to want to be in 'yesterdays' shopping centre. The Galleries will only end up being demolished, what another huge waste of money.

 

Alan from Wigan says...
Who in the Town Hall thinks up these crazy schemes. Grand Arcade, Wigan Pier Quarter and now there's talk of something to do with the swimming baths. These projects all cost a lot of our money and we have no say in the matter. That's not Democracy it's Bureaucracy. It seems the Council has bitten off more than it can chew,look at the mess at Trencherfield,they have changed the plans again.

 

bob from wigan says...
cant wait till it opens,best thing wigan as done since knocking central park down.Get in the 21st century wigan move with the times

 

daruna from wigan says...
What a mess this town will be when the shiny new arcade opens and everything in the "old center" closes. Perhaps our councillors will tell us their intentions for avoiding this catastrophy. Oi councilor Theres more to Wigan than the town hall and your wallet!

 

stephen from wigan says...
not happy about this. they can't fill the shopping centres as it is, take a look a where Index used to be. the whole lower floor is vacant, i don't think there's a single shop down there.

 

Ashley from wigan says...
yes i think its a good idea we need more shops

 

Rob from Hindley Green says...
Good points being made by a lot of people here. I'm in my mid 20's and I can remember Wigan being mainly a market town, I remember the galleries being planned and built and the anomosity people had towards the idea. Look at the current state of them now? As mentioned by many above, permanent empty shops/units, closing down signs etc.. I'm in no doubt that Wigan has seen better days, just walk around the likes of king street and library street in the cold light of day. The smell of vomit, urine and alcohol alone will send visitors back to their traffic jams out of town quicker than most people can get served at the local McDonalds. I would like to see modernisation of certain areas, after all, last time I looked Wigan didn't have a large Amish contingent. BUT, it has to be done right, transport links, impact on current businesses, it all needs to be thought through. I would also like to see some of the traditional aspects of the town renovated/preserved, after all to build for the future you need to remember your past. With any luck what we're seeing being done in the grand arcade is just the beginning of a well thought out plan to improve the quality of life in Wigan...Let's hope so anyways...

 

charlotte from wigan says...
come on wigan we are getting a grand arcade how good is that i am loving it

 

Graeme from Hindley says...
I lived in Darlington because of work for a couple of years and came back to Wigan 12 months ago. They had the same situaton there, a small shopping centre and small shops. They had trouble enticing the larger retail names into the town because of the low number of retail outlets that had a large enough floor space to make it worthwhile opening there. There was uproar in the town when the new shopping centre was planned. People there had the same arguments as here, why build a new shopping centre when we can't fill the existing ones, lets refurbish the existing buildings etc...
Now that the shopping centre has been there a few years it has never been busier and has attracted other retailers into the smaller properties that could not be filled before it was built. The key to filling the smaller shops was the introduction of a relistic rent and rates level that kept them occupied with some (although lower) rent coming in rather than sitting empty and receiving no rent or rates at all. I am all for having a shopping centre that brings employment epportunites to people of our great town but I also think that there should be investment into a venue of a suitable size 2500 - 5000 capacity for concerts and theatre shows, the key to this developement would be to make it unique and not just another medium size venue that offers nothing different to the places in Bolton, Manchester, Liverpool and the other places within half an hours travelling.
Give the Arcade time to establish itself and the town centre time to adjust and grow once it has opened. If the remaining outlets in the town and the Galleries are marketed well we could see the town centre transformed into something fantastic.
The place is nearly finished now and there is certainly no going back, lets see the new Arcade as an opportunity rather than something bad.

 

becky from wigan says...
oi leave rhe grand arcade alone is doin greate and looks great i cant wait until it opens i am going strieght into it and spending all my dosh!! al dat old car park got demolished into something great like the grand arcade. i love shoping and jus wait until my famliy see it they are going to be chuft to bits

 

Adele from Bryn says...
Oh dear, it’s almost here!

Will it be ready on time? Who knows? Who really cares?

It’s too late to complain about it, we will all use the G.A. Even tho’ i was against the idea, I hate to admit it, i know i will.

I remember the refurb/rehash of the Galleries. I still don’t reckon it’s a success either. Look how empty it is. The little shops around the outside are suffering too - many are empty. Much of that is because of the rents being too high.

Makinson Arcade (adjoining) again suffering - down stairs is a disgrace and embarrassment!

It is sad; many of the current businesses we do have will move out of their old premises and move into the G.A. What will our town centre look like? A bit of a ghost town!

Debenhams, Next, BHS - although in dire need of refits will only serve to leave LARGE gaps on the high street. But for how long?

Our Metro is run by folk of whom many don’t even live in the Wigan Boro' how on earth can they make enormous decisions on our lil’ town and get away with it? We have tons of empty warehouse units and now we will have tons of empty retail units.

Our Council won’t even provide clean toilet facilities we have to rely on the G.A to do that! I’ll bet that clinched the deal then, eh? :o)

I just hope that Wigan Metro can clinch further deals by making our town much more attractive and to encourage other companies to other to fill the already incalculable voids in our town.

 

Shopaholic from Standish says...
Recently moved to Wigan and couldn't believe how poor the shopping is! It would be good - but we need different shops, not just the current ones moving. Do you realise how difficult it is to buy a decent pair of shoes in Wigan???

 

wiganlad from wigan says...
good that there will be new shops and stuff but it be good if there was more in robyn park cos there theres not many n wigan town is full of weirdos looking miserable haha and can someone tell me what ritz is? im from wigan and never heard of the thing

 

LaLa Land from Wigan says...
it is a good thing wigan are opening new shops cos I see peaple wearing the same blink 182 and dark clothes everday, they dress to be different but all look the same lol im messing but its a good thing about the GA cos times are moving on peaple, wigan was scruffy before and still is in some areas. Landa x

 

Darren from Standish says...
Why don't they turn the Galleries into an open multi bar area and get rid of King Street for more parking!

 

Ann ex Wiganer from Gloucester says...
I think they should keep the Ritz and fix it up, I saw all the main groups their in the 60's it would be great to get that back again.

 

Amanda from Wigan says...
I think the Grand Arcade is a good idea, But we need some good womens clothes shops in it.
At one point, it was mentioned that Wigan was going to get a Woolworth's, What's happened to that, Are we not getting one again?
The other which we had a long time ago, should never had closed down.
Can someone please tell us if we are going to have Woolworth's again in WIGAN?

 

Andy from Kitt Green says...
I think the Grand Arcade is a good idea as long as the other shops like Debenhams, M&S and shops in the Galleries shopping centre are not left empty.

 

GRAND ARCADE from WIGAN says...
IT OPENS TOMORROW WITH :

BHS
Next
H&M Hennes
Debenhams
JJB Sports
TK Maxx
JD Sports
Topman/Topshop
Streetwise Sports
Monsoon
Bank
Shoe Express
OSC
Clinton Cards
Waterstones
HMV
Chisholm Hunter
Passion for Perfume
Dr & Herbs
Wilkinsons
The Works
River Island
Jane Norman
Aleef
Vodafone
Body Shop
Carphone Warehouse
Boots
Hurleys
Faith
Orange
HSBC Bank

 

Pat from Wigan says...
Went in Debnehams today, (card holders day)it was crowded!!! Not sure how many of these people were actually buying though.
The shop looks very nice and a great improvement on the old one.

 

Steve from Standish says...
We need a thearter sick of going to surrouning towns and citys for real entertainment

 

Jane from Leigh says...
I went in on Saturday and thought it was amazing. Exactly what Wigan needed!

 

Adele from bryn says...
gotta say it, sorry u guys. I popped into the 'grand arcade' last Friday.

umm, not so grand really. yeah its spacey, yeah there's seating. But to be honest, I much prefer the Galleries for its layout and atmosphere really.

The term 'grand' was the wrong one to use; it doesn’t quite live up to all its expectations. A bit like a new film that has been given 'over zealous’ reviews in order to bring the crowds in!

BHS, is smaller, it looks quite deceiving with its spacious appearance compared to its older counterpart (the dining area is a bonus) and I was disappointed with M & S too; and where has its Café Revive gone?

These ‘new’ stores have just left large open spaces where they used to be in the retail network of Wigan. There is no ‘flow’ to the town its like a ghost town – dependent upon which part of the town you happen to be standing in.

Despite what I have said I do wish it, and its businesses well. I would hate to see more boarded up or empty units. Its time WMBC advertised the beauty this town has to offer. We have wonderful architecture (old and new) the whole town just needs to be rejuvenated to its former glory

 

Mark Gibson from Hindley Grren says...
What a waste of money y build more shops in wigan when we cant even fill the old 1's. U say (council)that it will make ppl want to come to wigan well it looks well in the town center its secluded and rubbish get your heads out of the sand and put money where its needed like build something were kids can go just to keep them off the streets. Y is it all in wigan y not leigh abram and platt bridge.......

 

Matthew Stott local paper boy from Higher Ince says...
I think that the money could have been better spent as a few of the others have covered. There is only about 5 shops we never used to have and i think its a bit of a disapointment because all the hype and build up has been let down for me and a few others.

 

Lauren from Wigan says...
I think it was a good idea for the grande arcade more kids are going means less are on the street and money shouldnt get spent on villages or posh places like that i say it should get spent on places like norley and worsley hall and mesnes but now i think wigan need new shops which means more money .

 

jamie from wigan says...
i think it is brill it should of been done a few years ago

 

Stephen from Cambridge says...
I was brought up in Wigan and visited last weekend. How appalling to see the ghost of the Wigan Casino and the Ritz covered over with the usual boring chain shops. Sure it looks nice but what was wrong with the old JJBs, Debenhams etc. Now the galleries and what we used to call the precinct are dead. Poor old Smiths will have to put up a fight to attract people to what will become the rough end of town. Madness, really, when what Wigan needed was a decent music venue, maybe gasp even a gallery or "summat proper nice" as you folks might say.

 

kirsty from ince says...
i like it :)

 

Geoff from Houston, Texas says...
Pull it down and Rebuild the Casino.

 

dave from bolton from new delhi says...
move over wigan ....and help pull down the building ,bring back the northern soul nites..

 

DAVE from WIGAN says...
LEAVE THE GRAND ALONE.CASINO ALLNIGHTERS VERY OVER-RATED.

 

Wilfie from Aspull says...
Same 'ole same ole...Wigan looks like every other cheap town full of no-hopers. We now have a town centre that is indistinguishable from hundreds all over the UK - bland bland bland. Have we nothing of interest in Wigan to sell? where's the entreprenuerial spirit? Trouble is it seems Wiganners will put up with anything as long as its cheap...what a great image we have.

 

Dave A from St.Helens says...
HMV in the grand arcade kicks ass, better than the one in St.Helens. Theres no way places like topshop/topman or next etc... could fit into any unit in the galleries, there not big enough, something does need doing about the empty units tho.

 

david s from ince says...
its a load of rubbish the cash should be spent on the kids getting them of the streets and out of trubble

 

chantelle from wigan says...
the grand arcade is well good buy a bit overpriced and not as good as i thought it would be

 

Brian from hindley says...
after reading in the wigan reporter tonight 27/07/07 about the baths in wigan closing and being demolished got me thinking about something i read along time ago if it was true that is that the swiming pool was of the wrong size for international swimming contest and also i heard that the running track at robins park is of a wrong size also. if this was the case can we aleast this time get it right and stop wasteing poll tax money. many thanks i hope.

 

mike from wigan says...
They had a great opportunity to do something special.. but failed and let the people of wigan down. in a few years the mistake will be obvious..its quite clear now that shops else where are suffering.As for my self if I want to shop in this type of establishment I'll do it properly and nip down the motorway to the Trafford centre, its only 15mins and provides free parking all day...this more than covers the cost of the petrol.

 

Wendy from Ashton says...
Waste of time and space! I can't believe you can't purchase a sandwich/drink or sausage roll etc. inside anywhere! We don't go in now because we like to eat on the move with a pastie or a sausage roll - shops are predominently clothes shops with over priced and overly loud colours and clashes-no thanks-knock it down I say and build a kids park/activity centre.

 

phil from wigan says...
They should do something about the drink and drug problem in wigan.

Make me sick walking around wigan town centre and seeing people drunk on the street with some cheap lager or cider.

Put more money into the ever ageing police force

 

Annon from Wigan says...
Are you people never happy?

Wigan has been failing to impress shopper for years and we finally get a modern and fresh new facility and its not good enough for you… yet neither was the offering before the Grand Arcade opened!

Trading in The Galleries is up since the Grand Arcade opened and Sunday trading has never been better. With plans to redevelop the town centre Wigan will perhaps be a town of choice to shopper in the not to distant future.

We have much more choice of stores now such as H&M, Topshop, HMV, Starbucks etc... and the empty units pretty much all have new retailers waiting in the wings but refurbishment and reopening doesn't happen overnight. Empty units in the GA are now filled with recent openings from o2 and HSBC. Even with the empty units, we still have many more stores then we did prior to March.

You may have noticed that most Wigan shops now have a modern and up -to-date feel and appearance to them due to them all being so new which is great and runs rings around stores in neighbouring towns.

You should be happy with what we have got and look to the future as the town continues redevelopment and modernisation. It will get better and better.

 

Natalie from Wigan says...
i dont think the money should be spent on getting kisds off the street because even if they do build a place were they can go they wont go there its stupid all kids/teenagers want to do is go out away from thier mums and dads and adults and have a good time with thier friends i think the grande arcade is very good and i like most shops but the shops in the galleries should have been used instead off using all that money.

 

the duke from man says...
kitt green keep it clean from all the yobs especialy pip,,

 

Jamie from Wigan says...
Well, was the new Grande Arcade worth it? I visited the open day and sorry to say - it was nothing special. Wonder if it will ever become a ghost town, like the downstairs of the Galleries.
Also, why the hell have HSBC moved into the arcade? I find it so difficult to bank there now (and spend a fortune on unecessary paking fees just to bank a cheque). Just another money making scheme I'd say.

 

Lois from Wigan says...
The Grand Arcade is Well Pointless. Theyve Jus Moved Stuff From Thee Galleries Wen There Wuz Alredi A Full FLOOR Of Empty Shops There. Theyve Spent Millions o Quid On Movin Shops From A Half Empty Building.

 

grant from wigan says...
The grand arcade is useless to men. The only shops in there are for woman, exept maybe JJB, but thats it. We need more men shops in there, I mean, c'mon

 

margaret from wigan says...
I agree build a new wigan casino were we can go dancing, theres no where to dance unless you live near hindley

 

Trevor from Wigan says...
No one wants to dance in a concert hall any more....the world has moved on, you should too. You can dance in your front room for free....stop moaning!

 

Danneh Allerston from Ashton says...
Yar i love wigan me. Proper decent nightlife down king street best in th'world, i tell thee. Get down to liquid on a frideh nart it proper beltin. yarrrrrrr

 

Sammy from Wigan says...
You get rid of King Street and youll set the town off in anger i am not joking, all the jobs that will be lost is a joke, club jobs taxi jobs of the weekends youll destroy Wigan jobs are awful to come by as it is dont make it worse! All the money recently spent on refurbing the new clubs etc. will be a complete utter waste. Yes the Grand Arcade is a good thing but getting rid of the much loved King Street is a complete utter disgrace as im sure ALOT of people will agree, oh yeah and a Casino is a real disgraceful idea, whats the point? So Wigan can be full of gamblers on top of the trouble makers and druggies, i dont think so, who wants a mini Las Vegas in the middle of our town??
All that land and money and weekend enjoyment will be wasted for a flat piece of land for near by residents why dont u dig up the earth and make an underground carpark instead that way we are all happy, turn a field area near the town center into a new casino building, if you have money to waste by destroying the heart of Wigan to make flat land for environment wrecking machines then im pretty sure you could turn a grassy field into a casino or whatever else, but not King Street you will destroy Wigan for what it is known for everyone comes to Wigan and they love it for the popular King Street.

 

Dave from Wigan says...
The Wigan Casino, It was a 1st world war ballroom down station road, which was called the Empress, it was created by Mr J Atherton & Mr W Atherton.

During the end of the 60's early 70's it changed its name to the casino club, still it maintained its purpose and that was to dance, well for the people of Northern Soul they had an atmosphere in the casino, a good vibe,

I like the grand arcade, however the people are right, there's only about five new stores and they could have opened up in the galleries, I think they should have maintained the Ritz and Rebuilt the casino, They could have rebuilt it like the Print works in manchester by Incorporating the Ritz and the Casino into the Design.

But i still think the Casino would be great to be rebuilt, just as it was, not modern just as it was.

The Casino was knocked down to extend the civic centre, and thats never happened.

Now there thinking of knocking the civic centre down.


 

angela sayers from wigan says...
i have live in wigan all my life and my roots are for here last 200 years

 

jemmy hanson from Bryn, Ashton in Makerfield. says...
Wiganers are so THICK.
They think Wigan is so great, it's unbelievable.
No-one wants to go there, it's that bad. The shops are the same as anywhere else, all selling the same things.
The Casino was a scruffy old club that needed knocking down. Northern Soul was active long before Wigan's Casino was launched. The Ritz? Just another thratre/cinema, quite large for a small town like Wigan, but not as big as Liverpool or Manchester's offerings.

Wigan? Small market town with big ideas. (and full of thick folks).

 

brian from hindley says...
use your fingers and vote them out

 

Chris from Wigan says...
I think the more modern buildings the better. Think about it, businesses of all sizes these days want nice modern buidlings that wont cost them an arm and a leg if a wall falls down like with an old building. I cringe walking round town because of the state of alot of the buildings. Look at large citys like manchester and london. They got a mixture of old and new buildings and look how well there cities function. Alot of the old buildings in Wigan need renovating and some new modern ones built to.

 

dave ward from atherton says...
instead of a new arcade why not spend some money in towns around wigan whitch have been raped for years.

 

jim from ashton says...
as anyone who drives in wigan during rush hour knows wigan has enough car parks they just call them roads make it easier to get in and out people will then think twice about going anywhere else that will boost things

 

GentleGiant from Wigan says...
jemmy hanson from Bryn, Ashton in Makerfield. says...
Wiganers are so THICK.
They think Wigan is so great, it's unbelievable.
No-one wants to go there, it's that bad. The shops are the same as anywhere else, all selling the same things.
The Casino was a scruffy old club that needed knocking down. Northern Soul was active long before Wigan's Casino was launched. The Ritz? Just another thratre/cinema, quite large for a small town like Wigan, but not as big as Liverpool or Manchester's offerings.

Wigan? Small market town with big ideas. (and full of thick folks).


Bit rich coming from someone who is an ignorant biggoted, know all porche driver.

 

Cliff Duxbury from Standish says...
Na then, not af bad isit! Towd thi. Play up th'arcade!

 

Toni Hill from Wigan says...
i love the grand arcade but i spend all my money:(

 

Dave Hitchen from Wigan says...
After destroying yet another part of the town's history, the final insult with this appalling monument to consumerism foisted upon us by our Council, was retaining the facade of the former Ship Hotel in an attempt to prove that they consider the past to have any meaning. What is the point? I wonder what part of our town's history will be the next to fall victim to their master plan.

 

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