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Sat June 19 2021

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Chinese contractor wins £130m Wigan shops to housing conversion

15 Dec 20 Wigan Council has appointed Galleries25, a joint venture of Beijing Construction Engineering Group International (BCEGI) and local developer Cityheart, for a £130m reinvention of the Galleries shopping centre in the town.

With the decline of high street retail, the proposed scheme will see the existing 440,000 sq ft shopping centre repurposed for new housing and leisure use.

Within the Galleries will be built 464 residential flats, a hotel, and an entertainment complex with a cinema and bowling alley. There will also be some retail element, in the form of a market hall as well as 460 car parking spaces within the existing basement and landscaped public realm for outdoor events.

Wigan Council will work with Galleries25 as its strategic development partner to agree the final details of the development with construction expected to start in early 2022 with an anticipated completion date of 2025. Cityheart will do the planning; BCEGI the construction.

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Council leader David Molyneux said: “Now more than ever it’s vital we do everything we can to create exciting and welcoming town centres to help support our local businesses and jobs. These plans do just that and I certainly can’t wait to see them materialise.”

Cityheart managing director Mark McNamee said: “Our plans recognise the significance that the Galleries site has in Wigan Council’s plans to regenerate and repurpose the town centre. Together with our partners, BCEGI, we are looking forward to working with the Wigan Council and other stakeholders to deliver this unique, once in a lifetime redevelopment to create a new living, entertainment and leisure destination, to be a place many can call home, in the heart of the town.”

BCEGI director Dongwen Yu said: “The Galleries project is an extremely important and exciting opportunity to transform the town centre and we are looking forward to working closely with the council, local businesses and the wider community to develop our joint vision. The development cements BCEGI's long term future in the region, a future that we believe will benefit the council and the people of the borough for years to come.”

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