This weekend the Galleries was transformed into a hub of culture over and saw an increased footfall of more than 2,000 people.
The upper floor of the shopping centre was completely reimagined as part of Wigan Council’s launch of #TheFireWithin – a new manifesto outlining the borough’s focus on arts and culture over the next five years.
Six vacant units were opened to the public once more and were completely transformed from shells to bright, vibrant and open rooms with interactive displays, performances and exhibitions. The exhibition space will remain open for the public to visit for free over the next 8 weeks.
Wigan Council hosted the event in partnership with The Galleries, cultural organisations and internationally renowned artists Al Holmes and Al Taylor, who also live in the borough. The social event is in line with the local authority’s plans to revitalise the shopping centre, connect new audiences to culture, showcase talent and create exciting, diverse units for the town centre.
The event saw a headline performance from local band, LYNCHS, and further performances from WigLe Dance, singer Zack Carpenter, poet Louise Fazackerley, Wigan’s 50-piece orchestra, soundscape artist Overload and many more. There were also a range of works open for viewing from the council’s archived items to local artist creations.
Residents and shoppers were excited to see a buzz in the shopping centre, describing the event as ‘fantastic’ and explaining how they are ‘happy to see the shops so full and empty spaces being used for something so different’.
For more information about The Fire Within manifesto, visit www.thefirewithin.org.uk