Wigan is a town located in the greater Manchester area on the banks of River Douglas. Wigan is famous for its football team Wigan Athletic F.C and rugby league team the Wigan Warriors. The town was once a thriving industrial town with coal mining and milling its dominant industries. However, the town is slowly shedding its industrial character and moving towards a thriving residential future. The administrative centre of the Borough of Wigan has a small population of around 100,000 and is a major cultural and heritage centre. Wigan is strategically located and has good transportation links to other major cities.
Is Wigan a good place to live? Wigan is a bustling town connected easily to larger metropolitan areas like Manchester and Liverpool. It is easy to commute from Wigan and the real estate prices are to die for. There are excellent schools and other social amenities in the area. Living in Wigan is not a bad idea.
Wigan is a great commuter town with efficient transportation to cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Bolton. The town is quite popular and attracts many visitors. Aldous Huxley even wrote a book about a section of the town, Wigan Pier which adds to its appeal if you are moving to UK. You can expect to find a town full of culture as well as amazing open spaces. Moving to Wigan at this point in history is very exciting as you will be part of a town in the process of regeneration. Living here will be exhilarating if nothing else.
Is Wigan a good place to live?
Wigan like all cities has good and bad neighbourhoods. The neighbourhoods can be in the city centre or in the suburbs. Neighbourhoods are judged based on the standard of living, delivery of services and security among other measures. On that account, the best neighbourhoods in Wigan are Apply Bridge, Aspull, Shevington, Wrightington, Worthington, Orrell, Gathurst, Ashton-in-Makerfiel, Bryn and Newtown. Some of the worst neighbourhoods hoods in Wigan include Ince, Hindley, Whelly, Kit Green, Norley Hall, Platy Bridge, Pemberton, Hawkley Hall, Leigh and College Avenue.
Wigan has one of the highest crime rates in the UK. That is a worrying fact if you plan on moving to Wigan. Violent crime makes up the majority of crimes in the Wigan area. Antisocial behaviour comes in a close second consisting of about a fifth of all crimes in Wigan. Very few crimes in Wigan are solved with only about 4% of the cases getting to court. Other major crimes that occur in Wigan are public order crimes and criminal damage & arson crimes. College Avenue and Clarence Yard experienced the highest amount of violent crimes in Wigan.
The list of primary and secondary schools in Wigan is endless. The best primary schools in Wigan have an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating and include schools like Bickershaw CofE Primary School, Hawkley Hall High School, Hope School, Leigh St Mary’s CofE Primary School, Nicol Mere School, Orrell Newfold Community Primary School, Rowan Tree Primary School, Tyldesley Primary School and Wood Fold Primary School. The best secondary schools in Wigan include Golborne High School, Standish Community High School, Fred Longworth High School, St Mary’s Catholic High School, Westleigh High School and St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School. Institutions of further education in Wigan are few and include St John Rigby College, Wigan & Leigh College, Wigan UTC and Winstanley College.
Wigan is a transport hub and lies on the intersection of two major A roads; A49 and A577. Both those roads link to the M6, M61 and M58. Despite having access to such roads, traffic in Wigan is often very congested. The best way to travel in and out of Wigan is by train. There are two train stations in the city centre; Wigan North Western and Wigan Wallgate. The trains will get you to Manchester City Center in half an hour, Manchester Airport in 50 minutes and London in two and a half hours. You can also get direct trains to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Blackburn and Southport. The closest airport is Manchester Airport where you can direct flights to over 200 destinations in and out of Europe.
There is a lot of social activity in Wigan. There are theaters like the Little Theatre where resident can witness local drama productions. There are also plenty of parks for outdoor activity including Haigh Country Park and Mesnes Park. The Old Courts are a hub for workshops and community galleries. The Grand Arcade is a large shopping center with all the best brands. A game at DW stadium is also a great place for family fun.
Is Wigan a good place to work?
The level of unemployment in Wigan is just 0.1% higher than the United Kingdom average of 4% meaning there are plenty of jobs in the area. The average annual salary in Wigan is £28,700 and well below the national average salary of £36,600. The difference between the average male salary and the average female salary in Wigan was around £4,000 which well below the average national difference in pay between the sexes of £9,000.
Small enterprises make up majority of the firms in Wigan with 89% of businesses employing less than ten people. 77% of the Wigan population is economically active and 65% of workers were employed in a full time capacity. The wholesale & retail trade industry employed the largest portion of the workforce. Human health & social work activities and manufacturing were the other industries employing the most people in Wigan. The biggest private sector employers in Wigan are Heinz, Waterfields, AB World Foods, Hitchens/Bakkavor and Arrow XL while the largest public sector employers are Wigan Council, National Health Service and Wigan & Leigh College.
Is Wigan a good place to buy a house?
The average property price in Wigan is £146,000 which is well below the national average of £294,000. The real estate market in Wigan is also quite stable with little to no variation in prices which makes a very attractive place to buy a house if you are moving to UK. The best neighbourhoods in Wigan include Apply Bridge, Wrightington, Worthington, Orrell, Gathurst, Ashton-in-Makerfiel, and Newtown. The worst neighborhoods include places like Ince, Hindley, Whelly, Kit Green, Norley Hall, Platy Bridge,Pemberton, Hawkley Hall, and Leigh.
The average price of a detached house in Wigan is £310,922 while that of a semi-detached house is £141,064. The average price of a flat is £100,870 while that of a terraced house is £101,447.
The average rent for a one bedroom property in Wigan is £445 per month, for a two bedroom property is £489 per month, for a three bedroom property is £576 per month, for a four bedroom property is £725 per month and for a five bedroom property is £1,248 per month.
The average market price for a one bedroom property is £65,416, for a two bedroom property is £102,994, for a three bedroom property is £142,975, for a four bedroom property is £294,809 and for a five bedroom property is £436,478.
Is Wigan a good place to retire?
Wigan is a fantastic place to retire. You get access to larger cities like Liverpool, Manchester and London without having to live in a loud busy city or a student city like Southampton. Wigan is also incredibly cheap with a standard of living well below the national average which should ensure your retirement funds can be last longer than they otherwise would elsewhere. There are plenty of retirement and assisted living facilities in Wigan. However, their rental rates and prices do not vary widely from regular properties so you can use the figures above as a reference. Some notable retirement properties in Wigan include Abbeyfield House, Alexandra House, Avril Court, Brown Court, Cherry Tree Court, Corbett Court and Dean Court.
Is Wigan a good place to visit?
Wigan has plenty of attractions for residents and visitors alike.
Wigan is one town with an incredibly rich history. There are over 30,000 artefacts pertaining to Wigan’s history on display at the Museum of Wigan Life. The museum includes pieces of art like paintings, sculptures and property that will help you learn more about Wigan’s humble beginnings.
If you prefer shopping, then Galleries Shopping Centre is the place for you. The centre is a combination of three shopping centres; The Galleries, The Makinson Arcade and Marketgate. There are over 80 shops including famous designers like Marc Jacobs and George where you can browse for an entire day.
If you want a day away from the city then Wigan has incredible open spaces that you can enjoy. One of the parks in Wigan is Haigh Country Park. The park has over 250 acres of pristine woodland where you can wander and relax all day. There is a golf course and a children’s play area hence fun for the entire family.
Wigan’s World Pie Eating Championship is a highlight of the area. You may not want to participate but seeing people gorge themselves to capacity makes for quite a show. The event is hosted at Harry’s Bar and you can decide to try your luck and win a cash prize. The amazing activities in the area will make sure that you enjoy living in the area.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.