Thursday, 27 November 2014

Wigan Council does deal on Haigh Hall

Wigan Council has done a deal with Contessa Hotel. The Hall will remain owned by Wigan Council but the Hotel group will make it a 30 bedroom Hotel complex with Spa and Fitness facilities. The Council says it will boost the economy by £30 million and attract 500,000 visitors per year. Other claims are that the Council will love for you to believe is that it will save the Council £8m over the next 10 years. However, the £12m deal means that at least £4m is coming from you the taxpayers over the next 18 months. So straight away before we need to dig the saving by Wigan Council is only £4m because to save £8m over 10 years we have to pay £4m in a year.

The hotel chain will put in £6m to renovate the hall. What the Council doesn't say is how long the lease of the building is. For example if it is for 10 years that could be fine because the savings that the Council would like us to believe is for a 10 year period. However, if the deal for the hotel is 25 years then what is the cost to taxpayers over the last 15 years?

The total funding is £12m and we know £6m is from the hotel chain and £4m from the Council. The other £2m is a mystery. The Council says that Wigan Leisure Trist will find or fund that, but yet that is owned by the Council meaning we as taxpayers could be funding this even further than what the Council are telling us. Again if this is the case then the savings will reduce to just £2m over 10 years.

I am not a socialist but equally not a capitalist neither and I believe there are some things the Council should be looking after and the jewel in the crown is one. Until the Council give FULL disclosure on ALL the details then we will not know whether this is a good deal or not for Wigan but Labour can''t blame for privatisation, as they seem to do it as well and more so, in some cases!

One question that needs asking - why did Labour and the Council let it get into such a state!


  1. Please keep doing this blog Gareth, we need to know this stuff and your take on it ,as is without the spinners

  2. Another brilliant idea from our so called "progressive" council.
    Remember the fiasco surrounding the investment in the zoo!.
    Let's see the real numbers behind the arrangement and then, as voters, can decide if its a good deal for the taxpayers.
    It would be interesting if Gareth could force the council into disclosing the details behind the contract ?.

  3. Nice to read a Councillor that cares for the town, a rare breed,

  4. Gareth, don't wait for Wigan Council to give you a full disclosure of the details. Simply contact this man and ask him .......

    David Phillips,
    Government Property Unit,
    Arndale Tower,


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