TOTAL COST
£50.8M
COMPLETED
2011
DURATION
2Y5M
RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS
People

Project description

The landmark project integrates a wide range of public and leisure facilities in two separate buildings (or ‘zones’) on either side of Wigan’s listed Town Hall.

The 14,820 sq m Healthy Living Zone houses a new 25 metre swimming pool, a learners’ pool, a gym, primary care trust facilities and a range of council office functions. Each floor features a bridge looking over the public realm, linking two wings of the offices from the building’s cores.

The 5,358 sq m Information and Learning Zone accommodates a one-stop shop for council services, a library, the council’s property shop and neighbourhood offices. This zone also contains meeting rooms, interview rooms and conference facilities for public services including the Citizens Advice Bureau and Victim Support. It features comfortable, modern spaces that satisfy the Council’s current functional requirements with the flexibility to meet future changes.

The development is located on the site of the former Municipal Buildings, and maintains the terracotta-brick façade of this grade II-listed Victorian structure, with a modern curtain walled structure extension. The project also features two new outdoor public spaces, including a landscaped square providing links to Wigan town centre.

Responsible business

People

People

We involved the community from the design stage by holding meetings to discuss and present the proposals as they developed. A significant development of the design related to the Healthy Living Zone entrance. Comments from the public indicated that a shared entrance for the facility would be beneficial, so visitors could see the different areas (swimming pool, the primary care trust and offices) upon entering the building. The result is an open plan central atrium area which is inviting and appealing to the public.

We worked closely with Wigan Skills Centre to help local people find work on the scheme. With their help, we set up a Register of Interest in which construction workers with a Wigan postcode could leave CVs and contact details. The information was then passed on to our supply chain partners with the aim of recruiting as many as possible from the area. In total we employed 45 local people from the Register of Interest.

Challenges

The project required us to work on a confined site extremely close to businesses, commuters, retailers and the public. We held regular customer meetings to provide progress updates on planned activity, and informed local residents through project newsletters. We also introduced flexible working and night working hours and appointed a logistical team to manage deliveries. The new structure makes use of the old basement level which was retained after the demolition process. Extensive and complicated works to the basement included a façade retention system, underpinning to existing foundations and installation of rock anchors.

Awards

Considerate Constructors Scheme – Silver National Site Award

RICS North West Awards 2012 - Regeneration category

UK Commercial Property Awards 2009 - Best Public Services Development UK

International Commercial Property Awards 2009 - Best International Public Service Development