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15.11.19

Safe Haven being provided for Wigan partygoers this Christmas

Over the Christmas period a nightlight safety scheme will be piloted in Wigan town centre to ensure partygoers stay safe and to ease pressure on front-line emergency services.

The Safe Haven scheme opens on Saturday 16th of November. Wigan Council will be working in partnership with St John Ambulance, Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Greater Manchester’s Night-time Economy Adviser, Sacha Lord.

The trial will finish on Sunday 22nd of December, but an extra Haven will be in put in place to cover the annual Boxing Day events on Thursday 26th of December, Wigan’s most popular night out.

The Haven will be operational every Saturday throughout the Christmas period between 10pm and 4am and will be located on College Avenue.

The service will cover the King Street and Wallgate area and will provide free low-level medical attention and a place to go if partygoers lose their friends or need to charge their phones. It will be staffed by four first aiders, a healthcare professional such as paramedic and two ambulance crew.

The Safe Haven scheme is hoped to be rolled out in all town centres throughout Greater Manchester. It is already an initiative adopted in Manchester City Centre and Wigan Borough is the first area outside of the City to trial the scheme.

Sonia Halliwell, director for customer transformation at Wigan Council said: “In line with our long-term vision for a prosperous town centre, we are looking at a variety of options available to create a safe, diverse night-time offer that is attractive to both visitors and employers.

“The safety and wellbeing of those enjoying the town centre in the evening is a key part of reaching our ambitions.”

Sacha Lord said after he visited Wigan back in October on a Saturday night: “When I came to Wigan for my first Saturday night walk-about, many people turned up - including the council’s chief executive.

 The town centre felt vibrant and inclusive with a number of independent restaurants and bars. The bus station was both new and modern and very accessible for those with special needs. I also saw the council’s very impressive CCTV suite. The system covers the whole town and is the best I’ve seen.

“This is Wigan’s time to shine. It is one of the most impressive boroughs’ I’ve seen across Greater Manchester. The future plans for the regeneration of the town centre and Wigan Pier are very exciting and I look forward working with the council and partners to further develop the town centre’s night-time offer.”

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