The Wigan Borough lies midway between Liverpool and Manchester in the North West of England covering an area of 77 square miles, 70% of which is open countryside.
With a population of over 300,000 Wigan is the fifth largest metropolitan borough in England.
The economy of Wigan has come a long way since its reliance on cotton and coal during most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In recent years, the borough has undergone a major restructuring of its economy and can now boast over 5,000 companies involved in a variety of industries.
Business and Property Services; Construction; Retail and Production are all strongly represented in Wigan, accounting for 62.4% of the Industry Sector Profile.
Industrial and commercial developments such as Martland Park, Stone Cross Park, Leigh Commerce Park and South Lancs Industrial Estate are attracting a more diverse range of companies to the benefit of the local economy and the borough. Longer term developments such as Westwood Park, Wigan Pier Quarter and Pemberton Business Park offer the opportunity to attract high technology and high growth companies
The location of the borough, means that it is a popular place to live. It has managed to remain relatively inexpensive particularly when compared to Manchester, Liverpool and parts of Cheshire. Wigan has two railway stations, one of which is on the West Coast Mainline from London to Glasgow and is within 30 minutes drive of both Liverpool and Manchester airports.
Wigan Borough boasts a wide variety of housing options including executive apartments, luxury detached houses, family home and bungalows.
Many big name residential property companies such as Persimmon, Wainhomes, Redrow, Barratt, Fairclough and Morris Homes have, over the last ten years, developed high quality estates and smaller developments.
Wigan has retained its distinctive townscape, mingling Edwardian red brick with Tudor-style facades added in the 1930s. Over 60 buildings are listed as having historical or architectural interest and the larger part of the town centre has been transformed into an attractive open space with an award-winning example of the public art in the shape of a market cross. It was named ‘one of England’s top 100 places’ by the Urban Design Group.
A high quality pedestrian environment and excellent transport links have resulted in an atttactive, accessible shopping centre, aided by a partnership between the Council, local traders and the business community.
March 2007 saw the opening of the £120 million Grand Arcade, a new shopping complex, which has boosted Wigan's position from 131st to 84th in the ranking of UK Retail Venues. The Grand Arcade, which is anchored by Debenhams and BHS, has some of the most prestigious names on the high street such as Monsoon, Waterstones, H & M, Bank, Jane Norman, TK Maxx, JJB Sports and Top Shop / Top Man. Together with the award winning Galleries Shopping Centre, with its impressive 2 tiered central atrium and high street names such as Argos, New Look and Bay Trading, Wigan Town Centre is the largest shopping venue in the Borough.
There is so much to see and do in Wigan and the surrounding area. Whether it be a visit to one of its leisure and sports centres; or a gentle stroll around some of its two thousand acres of green space and seventeen parks.
Sport plays a big part in the culture and lifestyles of Wigan Borough. There are superb facilities for both participants and spectators a like as well as great venues showcasing professional sports events. There is the JJB Stadium, which is host to Wigan Athletic Football Club and Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club; a choice of six swimming pools around the Borough; and numerous leisure centres offering a multitude of sports facilities, past time events and keep fit regimes for the whole family. There are also specialist venues such as Three Sisters race track and Haydock race course. There really is something for everyone.