High Street Culture
Find out what’s coming up in our four-year programme of cultural activity across England's High Streets Heritage Action Zones, continuing until 2024.
By reusing and reviving beautiful historic buildings such as the Grade II listed Royal Court Theatre, Wigan Council plan to work with partners like Arts in the Mill CIC to engage locals and visitors in a rich array of cultural activity.
Wigan's High Street Heritage Action Zone focuses on King Street within the Wigan Town Centre Conservation Area. The conservation area was first designated in 1980 and covers around 10 hectares of the town centre.
King Street sits towards the southern part of the conservation area and is one of the main streets in Wigan town centre, close to the Market Place and between the rail stations and the civic hub. Despite this central location, it has traditionally been a focal point for entertainment and commercial uses rather than retail.
In recent times its character has shifted to focus almost exclusively on late-night bars and nightclubs and it is now in a cycle of decline - there are very high vacancy rates, the quality of the streetscape is poor and fractured and the historic fabric is under threat.
With £1.3 million of government funding, delivered through Historic England, the aim is that King Street will be celebrated as the 'go to' place for Wigan residents and visitors to engage in cultural and leisure activities by 2024. This aligns well with Wigan Borough Council's Cultural Manifesto – The Fire Within, which aims to tackle Wigan's low cultural participation.
Its mix of uses will mean that King Street has something for everyone during both the daytime and evening. Its strong sense of place will be reinforced through the reuse of its beautiful historic buildings, attractive streetscape and network of characterful alleyways.
Below you can find just some of the progress being made in the Wigan High Street Heritage Action Zone. For more, follow us on Twitter @HistoricEngland
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