Properties for sale in Wigan
Living in Wigan: The Local Area Guide
Wigan is a town and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, in the North West of England. It is around 16 miles from the city of Manchester, and the town itself has a population of just under 100,000. The wider Metropolitan Borough of Wigan has a population of about 318,000. Wigan sits beside the River Douglas, which was vital for its industrial rise to prominence.
The area around Wigan has been populated since the Celtic times or earlier, but was established as a settlement by the Romans during their conquest of Britain and dubbed Cuccium. It received a Royal Charter and officially became a borough in the 13th century, but remained fairly small for centuries.
However, during the Industrial Revolution it, like so many other Northern England towns, expanded rapidly in terms of population and economy. Coal mining and milling overtook the established industries of porcelain and clock making, and during its peak there were more than 1,000 pit shafts within 5 miles of the centre of the town. These industries eventually died down in the late 20th century.
Of particular importance during the industrial peak of Wigan was Wigan Pier, beside which were the main warehouses and wharfs. The place was injected into popular culture by George Orwell’s book observing the conditions of the working class, ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’. Today, it is a memento to the town’s history. The old 19th century buildings still stand, and can be visited and explored by those wishing to learn more about the Industrial Revolution.
According to the 2011 census, around 100,000 people live in the town of Wigan. Over 96% of those people were born in the UK, while 1.3% hail originally from elsewhere in the EU and 1.9% come from outside the EU.
At 39.6, Wigan’s mean age is very slightly above the national mean. Its median age is 40, and about 16% of people are over the age of 65 while 17% are under 16. Education rates are, on the whole, lower than average with less than 1 in 5 people having achieved Level 4 Qualifications or more, and more than 27% have no formal qualifications at all. By comparison, 27.4% of all people in England have level 4 qualifications and just 22.5% have no qualifications.
This may play a role in the relative lack of wealth in Wigan. In terms of social grade, which is determined by the occupation of the main household earner, just 15.7% of households are classes as AB and 28.3% as C1, for a total of 45% in the top two social grades. In comparison, 54% of households across England are in AB or C1.
Furthermore, 4.2% of Wigan’s population claim Jobseeker’s Allowance which is a little above the national average of 3.3%. However, property ownership is remarkably high thanks to very reasonable house prices – nearly 70% of households are owner occupied, which is significantly more than the average across England.
The town of Wigan and surrounding borough has a large number of schools. There are lots of primary schools to choose from, and about 20 state secondary schools of differing academic approaches and faiths. One of the top performers in terms of league tables and inspections is the St John Fisher Catholic High School.
Past the age of 16, many pupils choose to go on to one of the area’s further education colleges which are St John Rigby College, Winstanley College, Wigan and Leigh College and Wigan UTC.
There are two major railway stations within Wigan’s town centre. Wigan Wallgate offers east-west services, while Wigan North Western runs north-south on the West Coast Main Line including major cities and towns across England and all the way up to Scotland.
There are also excellent bus services both within and without the town, and for motorists, Wigan is linked by A roads to nearby motorways including the M6, M58 and M61.
Amenities and Shopping
Wigan has some major retail opportunities for shoppers. The grand Arcade shopping centre, which opened in 2007, has some fantastic high street brands as well as casinos and hotels.
As well as this, the Wigan pier is being developed and will soon include fashionable boutique shops, restaurants, cafes, hotels and apartments.
Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact email@example.com>All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith