Designs Approved For Wigan Multi Media Centre
Detailed plans for a new multi-function cinema and leisure centre located in the Galleries re-development site in Wigan town centre have been approved by Wigan Council’s planning committee.
A Reserved Matters planning application for the 84,000 sq ft Multi Media Centre (MMC) was submitted in March 2023 by developer Cityheart and Wigan Council. The multi-faceted cinema and leisure facility is a key component of the Galleries re-development project and one of the anchors which will be instrumental in transforming Wigan’s town centre.
The application brings forward the design detail for the MMC which will comprise a six screen, 700 seat cinema, multi-lane bowling alley, indoor mini golf, a climbing wall and wide range of other indoor leisure activities. The MMC will also include public events space and a games arcade along with bar and restaurant establishments.
Approval of the reserved matters plans follows the hybrid planning application for the redevelopment of the entire site, which was approved in November 2021, soon after which an eighteen-month phased programme of demolition began across the site, which is now over halfway completed.
The delivery of the MMC is part of the long-term, multi-phase investment and development programme of the wider Galleries site. The project will deliver one of the UK’s most innovative low carbon regeneration projects, transforming Wigan town centre. Alongside the MMC the development will comprise 483 mixed tenure homes across seven new residential buildings; a 144-bedroom hotel;; a new market hall and food court as well as new landscaped areas of public realm including a square for events and performances.
Commenting on the planning committee’s decision to approve the MMC design plans Warren Taylor, Development Director at Cityheart said: “The MMC is a key element of the wider Galleries redevelopment scheme and is central to the realisation of our vision to create a thriving mixed-use, town centre neighbourhood where people can spend time relaxing with family and friends.
“The MMC will help boost the local economy by drawing people into the town centre from across the region and will attract people of all ages who want to live in the town centre. Providing great leisure facilities will in turn help us secure the best operators and food and drink brands and we look forward to starting to announce some of those additional tenants later this year.”
He continued: “Alongside the new market hall and food courts people will be able to spend their leisure time at the MMC watching the latest films and enjoying bowling, climbing, gaming and eating and drinking in a range of new bars and restaurants and we’re excited to achieve the next stage of delivering this transformational scheme for Wigan.”
Since signing the Development Agreement in June 2021, the partnership between Wigan Council and Cityheart has made rapid progress and the phased programme of demolition, which is being undertaken by Principal Contractor BECGI Construction (UK) Ltd, is on track to conclude before the end of the year. The new market hall is targeted for the first new building to be completed, in late 2024, with the MMC targeted to start on site in 2024 set for completion the following year.
Councillor David Molyneux MBE, Leader of Wigan Council said: “This is another really exciting milestone in the redevelopment of the Galleries.
“The demolition works are well underway, and this planning permission sets out what we are planning to build, delivering an exciting and vibrant redevelopment in the heart of our town centre.
“This approval today sets out how this redevelopment will look and feel, bringing this inspiring future for our town centre to life.
“With plans for a cinema, bowling alley, mini golf, climbing wall and lots more, we are taking proactive steps to bring new life and opportunities to our town, attracting investment, and ensuring it is a thriving and vibrant place for people to choose to live, work, study and visit.”
The completed scheme is set to create circa 660 full time jobs and have a Gross Value Add (‘GVA’) impact or £26.5m per year. As an indirect result 40 full time jobs will be supported adding a further £2.5m GVA per year.
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