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Student has designs on Wigan Pier

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Interior Design student Louis comes up with way to transform Wigan Pier

A run-down area of Wigan has been given a design makeover by a University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student.

Louis Ratcliffe, who will graduate from the University with a BA (hons) in Interior Design next month, has come up with a way to transform Wigan Pier into a ‘social hub’ for people who live and work in the town.

The 21-year-old’s concept involves turning the disused 1900s warehouse into a café, shop and social area where commuters, bikers, and walkers could stop to re-energise and meet new people.

His design also includes a series of workspaces and studios for Wigan’s creative and professional community.

Louis, who himself is from Wigan, says he was inspired by the town’s rich industrial heritage.

The former Golborne High School and Wigan & Leigh College student explained: “I chose this building because it just isn’t what it used to be. I think it needs a purpose and the concept came from looking into the history of the area. Because of its central location, Wigan Pier was once a thriving hub where people living and working here would gather so I wanted to replicate that but create a modern version.

“The idea of reflection was another key theme, inspired by the reflection of the water but also the notion of the building being a modern reflection of the past. I experimented with angular layered shaped and mirrors to mimic the look of the shadows on the water. I wanted it to feel like the outside was being brought in.”

Louis’s vision may well become a reality as council bosses are planning a major redevelopment of the area, which will be rebranded the Wigan Pier Quarter, over the next ten years. 

Wigan Pier was once a thriving hub where people living and working here would gather so I wanted to replicate that but create a modern version.

The student credits UCLan with developing his skills in key areas. He added: “I was initially attracted to this course because of the different learning opportunities it offers. I learnt so many new things, such as computer visual skills, hand drawing and technical drawing, but mostly I’m grateful for the variety of projects I was able to get involved with, which I wouldn’t have had the chance to do if I hadn’t come to UCLan.”

Louis’ concept for Wigan Pier was on display to the public at UCLan’s annual degree show celebrating students’ creative work. 

Press Office | 27 June 2016