Wigan Council has approved Symmetry Park Wigan, a strategic logistics scheme on Junction 25 of the M6.
The 134-acre site is set to provide 1.44m sq ft of logistics employment space and will create 1,650 high-quality jobs when operational, along with 1,200 construction jobs.
Symmetry Park Wigan represents a construction investment of £73m from Tritax Symmetry and will provide £3m in business rates payments per year to Wigan Council once operational.
The proposals include high-quality logistics buildings, alongside extensive landscaping and planting. There will be a substantial green buffer between the development and the nearest housing in Winstanley, with a new access from the site to the A49 roundabout.
Located on one of the UK’s most important routes for road freight, Symmetry Park Wigan is to be built on a site formerly used as an open cast coal mine which was an active colliery until the early 1980s.
Andrew Dickman, director of Tritax Symmetry, said:
“Logistics is hugely important for the Northern Powerhouse and today’s decision means that Wigan will have its share of the thousands of jobs on offer. Well-positioned, high quality developments such as this will be crucial to providing a platform for occupiers to take advantage of what is a rapidly growing sector.”
Construction of the first two units is due to start later this year, with completion of the entire scheme targeted for 2027.
The site was identified as suitable for logistics development in Wigan Council’s April 2018 Employment Land Position Statement. The draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework also identified the site as a proposed employment site allocation.
Tritax Symmetry’s application was supported by AEW Architects, planning consultant CBRE, highways advice from Crofts, air quality consultant Redmore, ecology and arboriculture consultant TEP, noise and vibration consultant REC, landscape masterplanner Enzygo, and archaeology by RSK.
Symmetry Park Wigan will provide a major boost to the North’s growing logistics sector, which is expected to create 62,000 high-quality jobs over the next 20 years. Average salaries in the logistics sector are £30,500, well above the national average salaries of £27,800.
Greater Manchester’s Industrial Strategy identifies the Wigan-Bolton Growth Corridor as an important cluster location for the growth of the logistics sector, while The Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review identified the logistics sector as a key “enabling capability” for the region, meaning it plays a crucial role in economic development.
Subject to final agreement by the Secretary of State, construction could start later in 2020.