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Capital&Centric reveal first look at sustainable overhaul of Wigan’s former civic centre

A FIRST LOOK of the overhaul of Wigan’s brutalist civic centre has been released, as the team behind the project reveal they aim to make it one of the town’s most sustainable workplaces.

Social impact developers Capital&Centric have given a sneak peek of what the project, dubbed ‘Civic’, will look like once complete next year. Enabling works are now done, with construction set to start next month. The team are aiming for the workspace to achieve an EPC A energy efficiency rating and be BREEAM ‘excellent’ – viewed as the gold standard for best practice in sustainable design.

Increasingly, older buildings are being spared demolition and instead repurposed as part of the UK’s mission to reach its climate change targets. Retrofitting Civic is expected to save over 2,600 tonnes of COwhen compared to a new building of the same size – the equivalent of taking more than 1,200 cars off the road.

Civic is set to feature a raft of sustainability features such as smart, high-efficiency lighting to reduce energy consumption and electric vehicle charging points and cycle storage to encourage active travel and improve air quality in Wigan’s centre. Introduction of lush gardens and planting – as seen in the first look artist impressions – will see biodiversity at the site increased by over 500%.

The first Civic workspaces are expected to be available as early as summer 2025, with initial expressions of interest already being taken.

John Moffat, Joint Managing Director at Capital&Centric, said:

“Concrete 70s buildings like Civic really divide opinion and too often they’re flattened in favour of new build. But, with the mission to reach net zero emissions, overhauling existing buildings has to be the first choice. But we’re not relying on the carbon savings when compared to the alternative, we’re reducing the operating emissions by about 40% and packing the building with smart technology to further reduce energy consumption.

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“Wigan Council are showing real ambition when it comes to sustainable regeneration that sets the tone for the town centre for years to come. Working together, we’re not only determined to create one of the most sustainable workspaces in Wigan, we also want to defy expectations and create a thing of beauty, with stunning spaces inside and stacks of lush planting along Millgate. It’ll be a real set piece in Wigan’s wider regeneration story.”

Capital&Centric – working in partnership with Wigan Council and supported by UKSPF – are writing a new chapter for the imposing building, first opened in 1970. They’re on a mission to draw in businesses that want high-quality, designer workspaces outside of the city centre.

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Aidan Thatcher, Director of Place at Wigan Council, said: 

“This redevelopment will bring this iconic building back to life and create a modern and sustainable workplace of choice in our town centre. This is an innovative project to restore an old building, give it a renewed purpose, and ensure it is fit for the future.

“There are lots of exciting projects taking place in Wigan town centre at the moment as part of our strategic regeneration framework, including the redevelopment of the Galleries, Wigan Pier and Eckersley Mills. Together these projects will help support the regeneration of Wigan into a place where people choose to live, work, visit and invest.”

Civic will be packed with facilities, from a gym and mini cinema, to cycle storage and relaxing roof terrace to be enjoyed by the businesses that locate there. Exposed concrete inside will be framed by lush new plants and trees. There’ll also be spaces for the public to enjoy, including a new coffee shop complete with a spill-out terrace, as well as outdoor seating spots along Millgate.

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Businesses interested in locating to Civic are encouraged to register an early interest online at: www.capitalandcentric.com/civic

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