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Historic Haigh Hall to be transformed in £37.5 million restoration project

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 21st September 2022

An ambitious £37.5 million restoration project has been set out to expand and transform Haigh Hall in Wigan to “its former glory”.

An underground bunker cinema, world-class dining experience, astronomy displays, and the transformation of a derelict zoo site into an information and visitor centre are all part of Wigan Council’s plans to overhaul the historic hall.

Haigh Hall dates back 1840, and stands proudly amid the picturesque surroundings of the ever-popular Haigh Woodland Park.

The overarching restoration project has seen funding pumped into the site to make much-needed repairs to all aspects of the building.

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The ultimate goal is to transform it into a community space.

The historic Haigh Hall in Wigan is to be transformed in £37.5 million restoration project / Credit: Dunk (via Flickr)

According to the plans set out by Wigan Council, the transformation project will include a new world class dining experience, an underground bunker cinema, an art gallery for ‘Theodore Major’s visionary work’, and a rooftop terrace for astronomy.

The derelict gateway lodges are set for a revamp as well.

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One of the most significant aspects of the restoration project will see a derelict zoo on School Lane just off the main complex – which closed in the 1990s, and has been left vacant ever since – transformed into a new visitor attraction and learning centre, with a “multi purpose garden pavilion” and education and training hubs to provide more activity space.

A new 16-space car park will also be created – and all of this is already on top of the ‘five floor masterplan’ to restore the hall itself.

Speaking on the restoration project, Cllr Chris Ready – Portfolio Holder for Communities and Neighbourhoods at Wigan Council – said: “Our Haigh Hall masterplan would transform this iconic landmark into an attractive arts, culture and heritage visitor destination of national significance; one which will celebrate the rich character and unique story of our borough.

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“On top of the restoration of the Hall itself, our plans for the wider grounds include bringing this derelict area back into use with the creation of an attractive community space capable of supporting various community activities and educational opportunities.

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“We are committed to engaging with local residents throughout the process.

“We will be developing a full traffic and transport strategy for the whole site which will consider issues such as parking capacity and access routes to support our ambitions while having minimal impact on residents.”

Featured Image – Wigan Council