Marina under way

The former Bickershaw Colliery site off Smiths Lane a proposed development area
The former Bickershaw Colliery site off Smiths Lane a proposed development area

EXCAVATION work to create a marina on an old colliery site is about to begin – and it means closing a section of the canal.

Developments are gathering pace at the Bickershaw Colliery regeneration project site. Late last year construction firm Birse officially opened a new section of road along Plank Lane which goes past the site entrance.

Now workers are hard at it excavating the basin of the new marina at the site which will feed into the Leeds/Liverpool Canal.

Birse Project Manager Stuart Macfarlane said: “The basin is now being excavated and contaminated material is being removed before we put in a waterproof lining. Work is also ongoing to complete remaining areas of the carriageway and finishing touches, including decorative railings will be installed over the coming months.” To help create the entrance to the marina, the contractor will need to close a section of the canal to boat traffic from Saturday February 12 and Saturday March 5.

The regeneration of Bickershaw Colliery was given the green light in 2009 through millions of pounds worth of funding from the government’s Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

The owner of Bickershaw South, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), invested the funding into a full remediation of the site, together with essential new infrastructure, to make the area ready for private investment. The pit closed in 1992 and the plan to breathe new life into it has been divided into two parts.

The development will bring hundreds of new homes, a 40-berth marina serving the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, new greenery and space for businesses.

Wigan Council’s Cabinet Member of the Economy and the Environment Coun David Molyneux said: “It’s great news that the work is on track.

“Not only will it bring a fantastic new leisure attraction tin the shape of the marina but we believe it will also act as the catalyst for further regeneration.”