No marina for Wigan

Published: Sunday, 28 June 2009
THE plans for a marina as part of a £170 millions development by the side of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal have been called off, it has just been announced.

This was to be part of Wigan's biggest mill complex around the Eckersley Mill area by the side of the waterway, but developers could not reach an agreement with British Waterways, so the plans are for a large water feature instead.

But the whole complex is in doubt owing to the recession, with the developers admitting that there will now be a delay until the financial climate improves.

The massive development was to transform Eckersley Mills at Wigan Pier into apartments, industrial units and a hotel, with the usual promise of creating many jobs—1,600 jobs in this case.

Andrew Bradburn, Lead Consultant, admitted that there would have to be a delay until the economic climate improved, but said that planning applications for the first phases of the development would probably be considered by councillors before the end of the year.

Months of negotiation

The proposed alterations to the old mill have involved months of negotiations, and various alterations to the plans since the application in January last year, when waterside development was at its height.

Of the start of the development Andrew admitted:

"The economic climate is such that we could not start work straight away if planning approval is granted, but we are still committed fully to this project."

The proposals are for 338 residential units, 25,000 square metres of business space, new hotel, cafés, restaurants, cultural facilities, gardens and squares.

However, should planning permission be given, it is estimated that it would be between eight and 10 years before the work is completed.