Wigan Councilâ€™s planning committee has given the green light to develop the historic Wigan Pier after it approved the proposals at a meeting yesterday (July 17).
The council, Step Places, The Old Courts and the Canal and River Trust can now go ahead with their plans to revitalise the 18th-century industrial site into a cultural and residential destination.
The iconic Wigan Pier site â€“ immortalised in George Orwellâ€™s 1937 bookÂ The Road to Wigan PierÂ â€“ will be regenerated with a wedding venue, a gin distillery, a microbrewery, a food hall and waterside townhouses set to be just a few of the highlights of the new development.
Building on the site will now begin this August with the scheme set to be completed by March 2020.
Cllr David Molyneux, leader of Wigan Council, said: â€˜The collaborative plans we have for Wigan Pier will completely rejuvenate the area and will connect the Pier Quarter to the town centre much more seamlessly.
â€˜We are confident that local people, visitors and those with an interest in the Pier buildings will welcome this formal decision and will also enjoy seeing this 18th Century site be brought back into modern use.â€™
Under the authorised plans, the siteâ€™s former Orwell public house will change its use to become a waterside events venue hosting weddings, exhibitions, and conferences.
The Pierâ€™s old Heritage Centre and The Way We Were museum will house the new gin distillery, microbrewery and food hall which will feature spaces for cafÃ©, bar & deli retailers.
The site will also become the site of eight new three-storey canal-side residential town houses, with parking and landscaping included.
The design of the rejuvenated Pier will also include new public realm, to encourage people to visit the area and enjoy its waterways and outdoor spaces.
Harry Dhaliwal, managing director of Step Places, said: â€˜Todayâ€™s decision is a defining moment for both the Wigan Pier development and the future of the area.
â€˜We are looking forward to starting work on the scheme alongside our dedicated partners and creating a truly outstanding destination with high quality spaces that Wigan can be proud of.â€™
The rejuvenation of Wigan Pier is a key part of Wigan Councilâ€™s Strategic Regeneration Framework, the authorityâ€™s masterplan and vision for Wigan town centre.
The councilâ€™s masterplan also features the redevelopment of Wiganâ€™s main shopping centre The Galleries, new residential and office space, and improved public realm.
Photo Credit – Ben Sutherland