THE bid to create a major new retail destination in Wigan borough has got off to a roaring start.
The businessmen behind the Ena Mill project in Leigh hope that it will eventually rival Lancashire developments such as Oswaldtwistle and Boundary Mills in both scale and popularity.
And judging by the first weekend, Jonathan Addis and Simon Yates could be onto a winner at the former cotton mill.
No fewer than 1,500 visitors flocked to the former cotton mill, causing congestion problems that bosses say will not be repeated in future.
And the first phase of the development has sold all available space in the first phase to concession retailers.
In fact it leaves more than 30 retailers on the waiting list for the next phase!
More than 120 brands snapped up more than 30,000ft sq of space at the mill store in under three months.
The final three concessions to sign on the dotted line included men’s fashion brand Gabicci, kitchenware specialists Harbenware and Candlelight; ladies-wear brand Klass plus new 60-cover restaurant and coffee shop Massarellas.
An “official” opening celebration is scheduled for next month.
Simon Yates, who owns the complex with business partner Jonathan Addis, said: “We’re delighted with the response from the country’s retailers. The support and enthusiasm from the retailers who have bought in to what we want to achieve with Ena Mill has exceeded all our expectations.
“All we need now is the people of North West to come and see what all the fuss is about! We’ve been backed by some of the biggest names in retailing. And we want people to come and enjoy what we’ve created. One visit and they’ll see for themselves why there’s such a buzz about what we’ve created here at Ena Mill!”
Contractors have been transforming the site since work began in April.
Earlier this month Ena Mill revealed that more than 800 - now closer to 1,000 - people had applied for just 100 jobs at the new retail complex.
Concessions now in store at Ena Mill include Regatta, Antler, Farah, Jeff Banks and Pringle.
Mr Yates added: “I suppose the ones that couldn’t get in will be sorry they missed the opportunity. But I’ve told them all that this is a long term plan to change the face of retail in Atherton. And we want them all to be apart of our Ena Mill vision.”