Sheila Bird Studio Starts the Re-design of Wigan’s New Market Hall
The market will form the heart of the re-development of the former Galleries shopping complex, a long-term, multi-phase £135m development which is set to transform Wigan town centre.
Sheila Bird Studio is working closely with Wigan Council and its development partner Cityheart, to determine how the 75,000 sq ft space can be configured to create a bright, thriving market which will anchor the town’s redevelopment plans.
Commenting on starting the design work co-founder Atul Bansal said: “This is an amazing opportunity to create something that not only celebrates the people of Wigan but which will act as a catalyst for the prosperity of the town and the health and wellbeing of its people now and in the future.
There is no reason why people should be jumping on a train into Manchester city centre to spend their money if we create something really special here in Wigan. Give a place a purpose and people want to stay. The new market will be a place where the community enjoys coming together for the best local shopping, listening to music, socialising and working.”
Councillor David Molyneux MBE, Leader of Wigan Council, added: “Wigan’s market had become outdated in recent years, it is in a peripheral location and was in really need of significant investment to survive. It is important that the market moves to a new location in the heart of the retail core, where it will act as the focal point for the community once again and to foster trade, driving footfall and spending in the town centre.
“The market is absolutely central to our ambition to create a thriving town centre community and we know that Sheila Brid’s exceptional design team will help us realise that ambition by creating an absolutely first-class market which will encourage people to spend locally and attract visitors from across the region.”
Jon Humphreys, co-owner of Sheila Bird Studio added: “Hybrid spaces like this are the future – they are inclusive and offer more people more reasons to be together in their daily lives. That’s how good communities and love stories start and we’re going to make sure that Wigan’s market is the jewel in the town’s crown once again.”
Ciytheart and its demolition contractor BECGI Construction (UK) Ltd are 10 months into the 18-month demolition programme, undertaking a complex programme of works which will allow the new mixed-use neighbourhood to emerge. The demolition will allow the enabling works and construction to commence and the new market hall is anticipated to be the first building to be completed, targeted for late 2024.
The Galleries redevelopment project will also include a, 84,000 sq ft multi-media centre with a six-screen cinema, multi-lane bowling alley, indoor mini golf, a climbing wall and a wide range or bars and restaurants. The neighbourhood will also comprise 483 homes across seven new residential buildings; a 144-bedroom hotel; a retirement living complex; the new market hall and food court as well as new landscaped areas of public realm including a square for events and performances.
Markets specialist PlaceCo are appointed to support traders with the transition from the current market hall to the new venue, providing an enhanced activation and marketing programme including a new website, more targeted social media, a programme of events to increase footfall and the launch of Wigan One Radio station which is located within the existing market hall.
Commenting on the plans for the evolution of Wigan’s market Jackie Casey from PlaceCo said: “A strong and successful market can be a real point of difference for a town. It is a home for local independent traders and can act as a catalyst for start-up businesses that want to try new ideas. Wigan deserves a market that is fit for purpose, that can compete and add value in the everchanging world of retail; an iconic Market of which the people of Wigan can be proud.”
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