Manchester developers behind the regeneration of an iconic Wigan landmark have released striking images of their vision.
Canal-side walkways, houses, a food hall and events venue are all part of plans to bring Wigan Pier ‘back to life’.
The conversion forms a key aspect of a council masterplan to transform the area close to the town centre and establish a thriving Pier Quarter.
Bosses say the submission of a planning application outlining the designs ‘is a significant step forward.’
Step Places, the firm leading the regeneration scheme, has revealed the 18th century complex will host a gin distillery and micro-brewery.
The food hall will include spaces for retailers with the adjacent former Orwell public house converted into an events venue suitable for weddings.
Becca Heron, council director of economy, said: “The range of uses Step Places has outlined is exciting and the proposals are wholly in line with our regeneration framework, which is a blueprint for the future of our town centre.
“We understand the importance Wigan Pier has to local people and it has been a long-term ambition to make the most of these buildings and transform them into a multi-use experiential destination.”
The council is working alongside the management of arts venue The Old Courts – who will become the operator of the site’s museum and education centre – and the Canal and River Trust to improve walkways leading from the town centre.
The plans also include a public realm area in addition to a residential element and could be complete by 2020.
Harry Dhaliwal, managing director of Step Places, said: “We believe we are bringing something completely different to the area and our vision is to ensure that Wigan Pier becomes an iconic destination again that people want to live in and visit for years to come.”
The planning application is expected to be determined later this year, the developers said.
Wigan Pier is a historic site on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal originally used as a coal loading jetty where wagons would unload coal on to canal barges.
Its cultural significance is partly due to George Orwell’s work on the plight of the working class in the early 20th century; ‘The Road to Wigan Pier.’
The location also played host to the Wigan Pier nightclub which reached the peak of its popularity in the mid-1990s.