The Galleries (Wigan)
Entrance to The Galleries shopping centre, Wigan
|Opening date||1890, 1972, 1991|
|No. of stores and services||144|
|Total retail floor area||438,540 sq ft (40,740 m2)|
|No. of floors||2|
The Galleries is a shopping complex the town centre of Wigan, Greater Manchester owned by Wigan Council. It is divided into three sections formed from three formally independent schemes: The Galeries Shopping Centre, Marketgate Shopping Centre and The Makinson Arcade. The layout of the complex features a combination of covered malls, walkways and open squares reaching over six acres in size with around 440,000 square feet (41,000 m2) of retail space.
The Marketgate Shopping Centre, originally called "The Wigan Centre Arcade", was built 1972 in the town centre on former commercial yards and markets. Opening in 1974, it went under radical remodelling in 1988 when the adjoining Galleries Shopping Centre was constructed. This new shopping centre, with then 60 retail spaces, was completed 1990 and opened in 1991. The Galleries was owned by Wigan Council who sold it to the private sector in 1996 for over £90 million. These centres, though connected, were independent of one another and were only brought into a joint ownership in 2002 when Prime Commercial Properties acquired both premises. In 2006 they were sold to Propinvest Limited in a portfolio transaction, subsequently Propinvest also acquired the nearby Victorian Makinson Arcade, built in the 1890s. In 2015 Colony Capital purchased the complex, and commissioned the Ellandi retail group to manage the centre.
Due to 'years of stagnation and decline' the complex was brought back under public ownership by Wigan Council in March 2018, who purchased it for £8 million, using money from the council's Manchester Airport dividend. This was part of The Deal program to revitalise the town centre.
Since the opening of the Grand Arcade shopping centre in 2007, situated less than 100 yards away, a number of retailers have relocated from The Galleries to it including Boots and River Island. The complex also had big blows in 2016 when Argos and Morrisons both announced they would be closing down their shops in the centre. In late 2016 a large portion of the Marketgate Shopping Centre was sectioned off from the public due to low unit rentals. By late 2017, the majority of units remain empty with only a number on the ground floor still active.
In 2014 outline planning approval was granted for a £60 million redevelopment of the area into the 'Makinson Quarter' and the creation, on the site, of a new shopping mall of 26 larger retail spaces. However with the complex's purchase by the council, this proposal has been scrapped and they instead want to retain the site but revitalise it with new leisure, food and drink facilities and residential development.
- Centre Information gallerieswigan.co.uk
- Wigan joins roster of councils investing in retail Place North West, 07 March 2018; Retrieved 25 March 2018
- Galleries & Marketgate Centre Review 'http://www.wigan.gov.uk', March 2007; Retrieved 27 May 2017
- Colony Capital completes £311m all cash Gemini swoop after Värde Partners, CoStar Group, Monday, October 12, 2015; Retrieved 27 May 2017
- The Galleries Shopping Centre, Wigan, WN1 1AR Ellandi Retail Group
- New future for Wigan town centre, Wigan Council, Wednesday 07 March 2018, Retrieved 25 March 2018
- The Gallaries cost, Wigan Council, Saturday 24 March 2018
- Hughes next to move to town?, Wigan Today, Monday 26 March 2007
- Another blow for shopping centre, Wigan Today, Thursday 05 May 2016
- £60m Wigan town centre masterplan gets go ahead, Manchester Evening News, 11 November 2014