Retail, Sport & Leisure

The Galleries, Wigan


A competition entry to transform The Galleries Shopping Centre and provide a catalyst for the wider regeneration of Wigan Town Centre.

We supported the consortium team of Maple Grove Developments and Urban Splash on their bid to become the Council’s Development Partner for the landmark Galleries Site. The process lasted 6 months and involved a 2-stage competitive dialogue process.

We were commissioned to provide masterplanning and architectural services, working collaboratively with the wider Design Team. Our proposals followed in depth site and market analysis and stakeholder engagement and focused on reinvigorating the existing commercial district, transforming the site into a vibrant mixed-use destination quarter capable of attracting new businesses, providing a diverse day and night retail and leisure offer and creating much needed multi-generational homes. Our masterplan proposed:

  • 444 no. homes
  • 85,00 sqft Retail
  • 68,000 sqft Leisure (Including a 6-screen cinema and bowling)
  • 55,000 sqft Wigan & Leigh College Art Building
  • 38,000 sqft Market building
  • 35,000 sqft Office
  • 0.34 ha public Gardens / Square
  • 525 no. parking spaces

    The masterplan aimed to consolidate and reduce retail to provide opportunity for new residential, workspace, leisure, night-time and potential educational uses. We also sought to improve permeability and linkages to the surrounding area and assets including the bus station, college and green spaces. Sustainability was also a key focus with the incorporation of cycle networks, integration into the wider “Bee Network” and the introduction of a new Gardens and an event space at the heart of the development. By utilising existing basement spaces to house servicing and parking this enabled the ground plane to be fully accessible for pedestrians.

    Due to the anticipated 10-year development programme, phasing, delivery and the ability of the masterplan to adapt to changing market requirements were key challenges. As such the masterplan was arranged as a series of development plots which could be phased and consideration was also given to meanwhile uses. 3D modelling enabled us to set parameters for the plots to guide future development.

    The appearance and materials palette for the overall development was carefully selected and drew on existing architectural details, textures and tones to create interest and complement the existing street scenes. All materials were considered together to ensure a cohesive scheme whilst ensuring variety and identity to individual buildings and building typologies - materials ranged from traditional terracotta, to glazed bricks and tiles, to contemporary facade battens.

    (Landscape masterplan: Re-form Landscape Architecture)

    The masterplan at its core stitches the Galleries area back into the town’s urban grain and uses the historic alignments of Woodcock Street and Hope Street to anchor the development and define a whole new piece of green infrastructure for the town centre. It provides a flexible framework for development to come forward around new public realm which provides a focal point, assists with legibility of the estate and provides opportunity for ‘spill out’ space for adjacent uses and flexible space for town centre events.

    Phil Hepworth Director, AEW