Leigh Means Business: Local business owners come up with ‘momentary’ plans for town center regeneration

A GROUP of business owners have presented their plans for the regeneration of Leigh Town Centre, using ‘local expertise’ to access Leveling Up funding and catalyze future growth.

Drawing on the combined knowledge of over 100 local businesses, Leigh Means Business (LMB) was set up to “improve the quality of supply” in the city center and attract more people to the city.

Expanding its scheme with architects and planners, the community benefit corporation has proposed a comprehensive package to Wigan Council in the hope of working with them to regenerate Leigh town centre.

It is hoped that the city center will be regenerated thanks to the government’s Leveling Up fund

In an effort to achieve this goal through the government’s Leveling Up fund, the LMB team – through consultation with the public and local businesses – came up with 12 “momentary” proposals for how they would spend the 20 million pounds.

The core of LMB’s proposals are to redevelop the main streets of the town centre, redevelop Civic Square, create a mixed-use business center and improve Leigh Market.

In addition to this, there is a desire to pedestrianize certain areas of the city centre, to renovate shop fronts, to encourage a “café culture” and to develop the night economy.

Leigh Journal: Council's strategic regeneration framework agreed to improve greenspace in LeighCouncil’s Strategic Regeneration Framework agreed to improve green space in Leigh

The scheme is separate from the council’s strategic regeneration framework, which agreed to improve connectivity, green space and social housing in Leigh last month.

Instead, their town center proposals should be used in conjunction with the council’s Leveling Up funding bid, which if successful should not only rejuvenate the town, but be the ‘catalyst’ for further funding. and additional investments in the city centre.

This means that even after government funding has been spent, there may still be room for growth, as the city center has become a more attractive place to visit, shop and open business premises.

LMB Director Steven Tomlinson said: “Leigh Means Business is a co-operation of local businesses all working together to make Leigh a better business network.

“We represent the knowledge and experience of inner city businesses and want to work with the council to present the best possible offer for Leveling Up funding.

“If done well, it can be the catalyst to enable further investment, through private or public funding, to continue the growth and improvement of Leigh.”

Leigh Journal: Civic Square, around the Turnpike Building, is slated for regenerationCivic Square, around the Turnpike Building, is slated for regeneration

Aidan Thatcher, Acting Director of Economy and Skills at Wigan Council, said: “Council welcomes the commitment of the entire Leigh community to the regeneration of the town centre. We are aware of the Leigh Means Business proposals and are committed to them.

“Council has consulted extensively on the Leigh Town Center Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF), which sets out a flexible and robust vision for the town center and will coordinate activity, shape development and guide investment.

“Many of the proposals put forward by Leigh Means Business reflect the SRF’s overall approach and the Board will continue to engage with Leigh Means Business as well as other partners in the wider community to ensure the best possible future for Leigh .”

To learn more about Leigh Means Business proposals, visit their website here