|And the winner is…Wigan Life Centre
Artist’s impressions of the Wigan Life Centre.
The demolition crews are in and work has well and truly begun on the exciting new public services ‘hub’ the Wigan Life Centre. But even though the first brick has yet to be laid, the ground breaking multi-million pound development has already won a major UK award.
The architectural and design teams AStudio and LCE Architects, who are working alongside Wigan Council and construction company Morgan Ashurst on the £217 million project, are celebrating after the blueprints won the Best Public Services Development category in the prestigious UK Property Awards sponsored by the Daily Mail.
Hailed as the property industry’s ‘most prestigious’ awards, the UK honours are just one in a set of accolades that reward excellence across the globe.
The Wigan Life Centre will be a one-stop shop for all public services in the borough from council and housing through to police, health and leisure. Public services will be located in three zones – Healthy Living, Information and Learning and Neighbourhoods – located on either side of the town hall. There will also be a new 25-metre swimming pool and central library.
Judging for the award was based on the following criteria; location, layout, appearance, finish, services, safety, security, sustainability, innovation and marketing.
Leader of Wigan Council, Lord Peter Smith says: “This is a fabulous start to what will be a project that will transform the way public services are delivered not just in Wigan town centre but across our borough.
Lord Smith adds: “When choosing our private sector partners we wanted a design that was modern, exciting and one that would truly reflect the significant nature of this project.
“This prestigious award tells us that we made the right choice.”
“We are extremely proud that Wigan Life Centre has been heralded as the best public services development in the UK,” says Brian Barritt, Morgan Ashurst senior contracts manager. “We have a lot of experience of delivering complex projects and we are determined to create a community hub that the whole community can be proud of. We hope this is the first of many awards for the centre.”
The Wigan Life Centre is being funded through 150M of Private Finance Initiative grants. This means that the private sector funds the initial building and running costs, which is re-paid by the council over 25 years using the government grant and existing council budgets. At the end of the 25 year contract the building belongs to the council.
The award will be presented at a glittering ceremony at the Marriot Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London, on Friday, October 16.