The Turnpike Centre was designed by J C Prestwich and Sons architects, who, incidentally, also designed Leigh Town Hall nearly 70 years earlier.
Since its opening in 1971, the bustling library, thriving art gallery and popular meeting rooms have seen a phenomenal 12 million people walk through the doors, while staff have answered almost 400 thousand questions and issued more than 17 million books, cassettes and CDs.
The fascia is graced by a grand cast concrete relief the work of William Mitchell.
All but abandoned by the cash-strapped local council in 2013, Turnpike Gallery in the former mining town of Leigh near Wigan, is entering a new stage in its history with the creation of a community interest company to run its programme.
Helen Stalker has curated and promoted a series of fine exhibitions in the interim period – sadly arrested by current circumstances.
Let’s take a look around the exterior of a building which reflects the confidence and pride of a very individual town.
On our last visit we even got to look up on the roof.
So post lockdown, when you feel it’s safe and socially acceptable to do so travel to Leigh – take a look.