New look town plans ‘finished by Christmas’

The regeneration work currently underway in Leigh town centre
The regeneration work currently underway in Leigh town centre

Regeneration efforts in the centre of Leigh should be completed before Christmas, according to town hall bosses.

The finishing touches are being made to the long-awaited £900,000 initiative.

And The Spindle, the Coalfield Communities Challenge statue which has stood near the top of Bradshawgate for the past 16 years, has been relocated to the top of Albion Street.

But with festive shopping now well underway, there has been speculation over whether the works, which were first mooted in 2014, will finally be finished.

Emma Barton, Wigan Council’s assistant director for economy and regeneration, said: “We fully appreciate that the weeks leading up to Christmas are a particularly busy time for the town centre, and the works have been carefully planned to ensure there is no disruption to this important period for businesses and shoppers.

“Bradshawgate is substantially complete and Albion Street is on course to be finished by the end of November.

“The final section of works, which is a small section along Gas Street, is scheduled to be completed in early December.

“Every effort has been made to ensure that there is minimal impact on the Market Hall, which is very much ‘open for business’ for the Christmas period.

“We would like to thank all local traders and businesses for their patience and understanding during the works, and we hope that they will enjoy their ‘new look’ town centre.”

Critics have claimed that the investment is only a drop in the ocean compared to the spending on neighbouring Wigan.

But market traders spokesman Glenn Furnival has said stallholders hoped the improvements, especially those around Albion Street, leading up to the market hall, would be beneficial for business.

Shopkeepers were told that the ambitious scheme, featuring new seating, paving and planters, would be completed by October.