|Welcome To The Museum Of WiganLife
The History Shop
IT’S a historic picture of the future of Wigan’s past!
This is the first glimpse of what is set to become the new Museum of WiganLife.
Wigan’s historic library, formerly known as the History Shop, on Library Street is currently undergoing a £1.9m restoration.
When the building, where George Orwell once researched his landmark book the “Road to Wigan Pier”, opens in spring it will tell the story of Wigan from the Romans to the present day…and it will also bear a new name.
The building will be renamed as the Museum of WiganLife when it is opened in spring 2010.
Carole Tydlesley is head of heritage services for Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust. She said: “This exhibition will tell the story of Wigan, its people, its heritage and its community pride.
“It will be a place to experience, discover and identify the events and people that moulded modern Wigan life.”
Manchester based William Anelay Ltd, whose projects have included Victoria Baths and Gorton Monastery in Manchester, have been working since April transforming this historic building in the centre of Wigan into a “heritage hub”.
The exhibition will include themes such as Wigan At War, Wigan Sport and Our Wigan – focusing on the stories and the actual people who lived and worked in the town.
For those wishing to research their family tree there’ll also be a well equipped genealogical study area with state-of-the-art computer and micro-form readers and printers.
Restoration work has been made possible following a £500,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and match funding from Wigan Council and Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, who manage the building and heritage services on behalf of the council.
The new Museum of WiganLife will be directly opposite the new WiganLife Centre - one of the most ambitious council projects ever undertaken in the country.
From 2011 people will be able to access council, health, leisure and housing services, use a state of the art new swimming pool or visit a new central library all under one roof.
Cllr Brian Baldwin, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for culture, said: “We have a rich heritage and a strong cultural identity and this new museum will celebrate that. This has been made possible by a lot of hard work and generous external funding and is sure to benefit future generations.
“Sitting alongside the new WiganLife Centre the museum will also form part of a much larger civic and cultural heart in the town centre.”