Revamp for town centre

An artist's impression
An artist's impression
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LEIGH’S outdoor market will be moved to a new location as part of ambitious plans to revamp the town centre.

The £900,000 proposal announced this week is part of the council’s bid to make central locations in the borough “fit for the future.”

Both Albion Street and Bradshawgate will get a makeover with new road surfaces, lighting and trees planted.

The market will be moved to Bradshawgate giving it “increased visibility and improving access to its stalls.”

And a new entrance to the indoor market and the Spinningate Centre will be built.

Council leader Lord Peter Smith said: “This will be a total transformation of one of the most high profile parts of Leigh. It will create a new, open entrance to the indoor market and Spinningate Shopping Centre while providing a better home for the outdoor market. Bradshawgate and Albion Street will also be improved.

“Creating town centres that local people are proud of and which meet the needs of the local community is an important priority.”

Work is expected to start next year with a scheduled completion date earmarked for 2016.

Council bosses said the current location of the market, on Albion Street, has a wind tunnel effect for shoppers with it flanked on either side by tall buildings which needed to be resolved.

While Bradshawgate is in need of refurbishment, they added. The revamp is in conjunction with a similar scheme to transform Market Place in Wigan town centre, which is costing £1.3m.

Lord Smith added: “We all know people’s shopping and leisure habits are changing. We’ve got to make sure our town centres are fit for the future and that’s what this significant investment by the council is all about.”

Richard Waterfield, chair of the Wigan Forward Board and Waterfield’s Bakers, said: “It’s fantastic the council is investing in our town centres in this way.

“This will complement the major external investment that is going into both Wigan and Leigh town centres in the next few years. It will increase footfall and provide an uplift to local businesses.”