Wigan Council in the UK and its strategic development partner Cityheart have broken ground at the £135m Galleries shopping centre redevelopment scheme in the heart of Wigan town centre.

BCEGI, which has been appointed contractor, has commenced work on site beginning with the demolition of the carpark bridge.

This work is due to complete in 18 months. During this time frame, once areas of the site have been demolished, new development phases will commence.

The first of these phases is the New Market Hall, which is slated to be delivered by 2024.

Planning for the redevelopment of the Galleries shopping centre was given in November 2021.

This project is expected to provide a new retail, leisure, commercial destination in the heart of Wigan town centre.

Wigan Council leader and councillor David Molyneux said: “This an exciting milestone for the Galleries redevelopment and the first of many to come. The redevelopment aims to create as little disruption as possible to the town centre and we’ve prepared an impressive events programme for the festive season to help support local businesses, with the annual lights switch on and Santa parade upcoming.

“There’ll be lots of activities in Makinson Arcade and the market throughout December, with wreath making workshops, storytelling and craft workshops, gift wrapping services and more.”

Cityheart director Warren Taylor said: “We are fully committed to delivering this important scheme and continue to work alongside the Council and local community to achieve our vision. It is exciting to see the first stage of the transformation taking place, together with the new hoardings that have been erected, it really feels like tangible progress is being made, which serves to reiterate our message that exciting improvements and changes are coming.”

Presently, 49% of the on-site staff have been appointed from within a 20-mile radius of the project and BCEGI is working with several local suppliers as part of its commitment to help boost the local economy.

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Image: Wigan Council, Cityheart and BCEGI officials at the groundbreaking of £135m Wigan Galleries redevelopment. Credit: Wigan Council.