"WITH new developments and changes still to come, Leigh is certainly earning its spot on the map as one of the most desirable places to live in the country.”

Those are the words of Jonathan Twentyman, who grew up in Leigh and is managing director of a firm completing the £13m transformation of the grade II listed former cotton mill on Mather Lane.

The JP McGuire Developments site will include 99 loft-style apartments, a gym for residents as well as a private cinema and dining room.

After the arrival of the guided busway, which offers travel from the town centre into Manchester, and other developments in Leigh such as at Pennington Wharf, the town is catching the attention of property investors and businesses.

The development boom has led to Leigh being hailed as Britain's third biggest property hotspot by Zoopla.

House prices in the town have risen by 6.3 per cent, nearly twice as much as the 3.2 per cent north west average.

Leigh Journal:

The view from the roof of the Loom Wharf development

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Mr Twentyman, who has worked in the construction sector for more than 30 years, said: “People want to live in quiet and safe neighbourhoods as well as walk to a local school safely, have access to good outdoor spaces, shopping, local amenities and good transport links – all of which can be found in peripheral northern towns like Leigh.

“Only now does the housing stock start to match up more suitably with what people here want.

"Playing a part in regenerating the town is something for all Leigh people to be proud of.

"It’s certainly an exciting time.

"With projects like Loom Wharf we want to redefine town living."