New redevelopment plans will see Wigan Market demolished

  • Video report by Claire Hannah.

Market traders in Wigan have reacted angrily to new £135 million plans to redevelop the town centre which will see the market hall totally demolished.

Part of The Galleries shopping centre will also be demolished to make way for hundreds of new apartments, food and drink outlets, and entertainment venues.

This is despite more than 7,000 people signing a petition against the development.

Artists impression of new cinema in The Galleries Credit: Cityheart

A total of 464 new homes, including town houses and apartments, a multi-media centre with a cinema and bowling alley and indoor mini golf are planned as part of The Galleries 25 project, the joint venture with between developers Cityheart and BCEGI UK.

The market will be moved to where Index used to be in The Galleries.

The council gave the go-ahead to the plans at a meeting this week saying it needs to reduce the reliance on retail for the town centre.

Work is expected to begin in January next year with phase one expected to take two years to complete. It's hoped the complete project will be completed by 2025.

David Molyneux, the leader of Wigan Council said: "The plan very much reflects the feedback we got from residents about the importance of vibrant town centres during the Big Listening Project in 2018 and more recent consultations. I can't wait to see them materialise".

Market traders in the town aren't happy though with some saying they 'felt sick' when they saw a 3D model of how the town centre will look.

They say artists impressions of how the project will look when it's complete are inaccurate and have created their own.

Artists impression of view from Mesnes Park Credit: Save Wigan Town Centre - Facebook

Kathleen Leigh runs Cunans in Wigan market, where her family has been trading for more than 100 years. She says this would destroy the character of the town, and put jobs at risk.

Wigan Council says it is working up ways to work with the market traders and the next meeting will be held next week.

One of the things being discussed will be how the council can help them, with financial support one of the options being looked at.