Work starts on £200m Eckersley Mills
Developer Heaton Group is shooting for a 2024 completion for its project to transform the grade two-listed mill into a micro-brewery, food hall, offices, and event space.
Main contractor HG Developments has begun construction on the scheme, which is the first phase of Heaton Group’s £200m masterplan for the 17-acre former cotton mill complex. A subsequent phase of the plan could include 137 apartments, according to Heaton Group.
This first phase, known as Mill One, focuses on just one of the mill buildings and received planning permission from Wigan Council in January.
Under designs by Fletcher Rae Architects, the mill will boast a 22,000 sq ft micro-brewery and food hall on its ground floor. The three upper floors will become 80,000 sq ft of offices, including a new headquarters for Heaton Group.
Plans also feature a rooftop extension to the mill that would provide additional workspace and an area for events.
Heaton Group is based in Wigan, which makes the work on Eckersley Mill particularly meaningful for the team, according to managing director John Heaton.
Speaking about the mill, he said: “It has been neglected and suffered from a lack of investment so bringing life back to the mills is a positive, but it has to be done right.
“Our plans will save as much of the mills as we can, create jobs, and attract new businesses into the town.”
Wigan Council’s director of place, Aidan Thatcher, said: “There’s a lot of excitement on site and it’s easy to see why with the scheme progressing so quickly and moving forward at pace. Mill One is progressing well and we’re already looking forward to the next visit.”
Wigan MP Lisa Nandy took part in a ‘work starts’ ceremony at the site last week. She also praised the project.
“It is great to see a part of Wigan’s heritage being saved – by a Wigan family business — with such an exciting and ambitious scheme,” Nandy said at the time.
“It’s important that we do what we can to bring new life these historic buildings. What the Heaton Group is planning is really putting Wigan on the map. I am looking forward to seeing how work progresses.”