WIGAN TOWN CENTRE IS ABOUT TO ENTER AN EXCITING NEW PHASE, THAT IS FOCUSED ON VIBRANCY, DIVERSITY AND PROSPERITY.
TOWN CENTRE STRATEGY
Facing challenges head on
Like many towns, Wigan is facing the challenges of online retail growth, out of town shopping centres and changing visitor habits. Meeting these challenges while, also repurposing what its town centre has to offer, is at the heart of Wigan’s new strategic plan.
Wigan’s recently unveiled Strategic Regeneration Framework puts in place the foundations for the long-term redevelopment of its town centre as a thriving destination.
Variety is the route to success
For Wigan to succeed it will boast a new, varied town centre offer including residential, office, leisure and retail sectors. And these will be supported and championed by active town centre management.
By taking a close look at the drivers that influence the local economy, the plan identifies specific short, medium and long-term development and investment priorities and opportunities. Through these, it creates a blueprint for a diverse and vibrant town centre.
Taking the lead
The framework acknowledges that the lack of a proven market and low equity values in the town means that the council cannot rely solely on the private sector to drive change and deliver the growth needed. But the council can – and will – lead interventions, working with private sector to take advantage of new opportunities.
building our offer
Wigan currently has too much retail space, and what we have is under-utilised. We don’t want to lose our retail core – it’s important for our residents and local businesses – but we also want to weave a more engaging offer into the fabric of the town centre to draw in residents, visitors and businesses.
OWNership enables change
The council now owns some significant town centre assets and these are key to initiating the first major changes. Developing the Galleries and the re-location of Wigan Market are paving the way to re-shape the town centre.
More pull, more people
A strong business core adds vibrancy and diversity to a town centre, attracting different people and creating demand for goods and services. We are already looking at our existing buildings to create business incubation hubs and live/work space. Focused on digital, technology, creative and cultural sectors these hubs will stimulate growth in start-up businesses and SMEs and give Wigan town centre a distinctive edge.
HIGH Speed is part of our future
HS2 is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Wigan. It is more than a high-speed train, it offers the potential to transform a key part of our town centre and we have a clear vision on how we will regenerate assets and the public realm around the rail stations.
a place for everyone
Town centres need to look and feel alive, and the council plays the lead role in creating an inclusive, engaging and safe centre. We are working with our partners to improve the quality of our public spaces, pathways and streets and delivering activity in the town centre that attracts people both day and night.
growing our skills and talent base
Our focus on delivering a more diverse and engaging town centre requires the skills to make it happen – particularly in key sectors such as digital, technology, creative and arts. Our new Work and Skills Strategy will ensure our residents, particularly young people, have the skills required to benefit from economic growth.
A TRANSITIONAL PHASE FOR THE TOWN CENTRE HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED. THE COUNCIL WILL LEAD THAT CHANGE AND IDENTIFY NEW OPPORTUNITIES THAT CAN BE DELIVERED IN THE TOWN CENTRE. BUILDING ADVANTAGE, ENABLING GROWTH.
STRATEGY FOR RETAIL
Developing a strategy that sets out what the future ‘High Street’ should be and its role in stimulating footfall and activity
REDEVELOPING THE GALLERIES
Early action to pave the way for a major development scheme/s on the site
Repurposing existing council-owned buildings to create live/work and start-up space for the digital, technology, arts and cultural sectors
RAILWAY STATIONS AND HS2
This will be taken forward through the development of the HS2 Growth
TOWN CENTRE MANAGEMENT
Working with partners to ensure all residents feel they can engage with and enjoy what the centre has to offer during the day and at night
Development of the existing skills provision, so all residents are able to access opportunities
CAR PARKING STRATEGY
A review of the existing offer and whether consolidation of surface car parks could see additional development platforms
Consideration of a town centre exclusion zone to improve the quality of residential conversions