Welcome to Wigan, in England’s friendly northwest! Wigan is one of a number of small but busy cities located on the outskirts of the metropolis of Manchester. Living in Wigan may be a bit of a cultural shock for expats with no experience of life in northern England. The weather is typically cold and wet, but the people are generally bright and friendly and the food is warming and filling. Wigan residents are sometimes referred to as “The Pie-Eaters”, after the annual World Pie Eating Championship, which has been held in the city since 1992 and any newly-arrived expatriate in Wigan will quickly learn that pies are a staple of northern English cuisine. Make instant friends by baking your own pie (with plenty of gravy) and inviting the neighbors over. To learn more about northern English culture, and how the north differs from the south, sign up on InterNations and use the platform’s discussion boards and forums to speak directly to other expats living in Wigan, England, and across the globe.
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An appreciation (or at least understanding) of sports is all but essential for expats moving to Wigan. This is the home of the league-topping Wigan Athletic Football Club, and the respected Wigan Warriors Rugby League Football Club. When either team is playing, Wigan’s pubs will be full to bursting, and the city’s mood will collectively change depending on the final scores. Less sporty expatriates may prefer to read George Orwell’s “The Road to Wigan Pier” before moving to Wigan, to get an idea of the city during the economic dip of the 1930s. And of course, once arrived, you can learn more about the history of Wigan by visiting the Museum of Wigan Life in the city center. Or simply use InterNations to get in touch with fellow global minds and expats in Wigan to get more information about your future home.
Wigan is ideally located between the major cities of Manchester and Liverpool, although it is technically a part of the Greater Manchester area. Wigan has a diverse economy, with a busy retail center in the middle of the city, a burgeoning cultural hub around the Wigan Pier Quarter, and an international textile, manufacturing and research space in the newly-created Westwood Park Business Park. Expatriates working in Wigan should make sure they have all their visas and work permits in order, and stay on top of any changes to employment law which may affect you. Britain is a member of the EU, so citizens of EU member states have the automatic right to work in the country, but some restrictions could still apply. Speak to other expats on the InterNations forums if you have any concerns about your expat life in Wigan, or elsewhere in Britain.