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Austin-Smith:Lord's youth centre in Wigan opens doors

Austin:Smith-Lord has completed this £6 million sports and recreational facility for young people in Wigan

The ‘aspirational and inspirational’ Wigan Youth Zone at Mesnes Field features a 3,340m² main building - housing a dance studio, music room, arts and recreational space, kitchen, café and administration offices - as well as 2,500m² of external areas including a skate park.

Privately funded - in part by Wigan Athletic owner and businessman Dave Whelan - the town centre scheme on the southern edge of Mesnes Park Conservation Area was built on ‘underused’ former playing fields.

Lead architect Maggie Mullan said: ‘The integrity of two main blocks of the building is maintained by returning the brickwork and reglit through the internal street. The glass box also acts as a beacon at night illuminated with LED lighting that can shift colour.

‘The solid base of the brickwork, based on local tradition, transforms through the modern form of the building and the glass box to be an aspirational and inspirational building for young people.

The project was also sponsored by Martin Ainscough of Ainscough Holdings and property developer Bill Ainscough.


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