A look at Leigh

The Turnpike Gallery and that William Mitchell

Leigh's Turnpike Centre is a brutal beauty incorporating a public library and art gallery. Built in 1971 and featuring a large William Mitchell frieze on the exterior, the building has a new lease of life after the recent re-opening of the Turnpike Gallery on the first floor.

The gallery was closed by Wigan Council due to funding cuts in 2013 and briefly kept alive by local art groups. In 2016, former Whitworth Art Gallery curator Helen Stalker took on the task of reviving the gallery's contemporary art programme with funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.

The building has been knocked about about over the years and it shows the wear and tear of age and a typically local authority lack of care but with a bit of love and attention the Turnpike could easily become Greater Manchester's coolest art space. Just look at those aluminium finger plates on the gallery doors... that chandelier has got to go though.

Turnpike Gallery, Civic Square, Leigh WN7 1EB