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Question Time: Regeneration Swindon with Peter James part 1 Question Time: Regeneration Swindon with Peter James part 1
Part One - Peter James explains plans for The Exchange...
Question Time: Regeneration Swindon with Peter James Part 2 Question Time: Regeneration Swindon with Peter James Part 2
Part Two - Peter James explains plans for The Promenade, The Public Realm and The Hub...
Question Time: Regeneration Swindon with Peter James part 3 Question Time: Regeneration Swindon with Peter James part 3
Part Three - Peter James explains plans for Swindon Central and The Campus...
Question Time: Regeneration Swindon with Rod Bluh Question Time: Regeneration Swindon with Rod Bluh
Rod Bluh explains plans for the Regeneration of Swindon...
Question Time: Regeneration Swindon with Bernie Maguire Question Time: Regeneration Swindon with Bernie Maguire
We ask inSwindon's Bernie Maguire about plans for the Town Centre...
Date added: 09 January 2008

Regeneration of Swindon 

The town centre is a'changing
 
Changing Swindon
Anyone visiting Swindon town centre will notice there's a lot going on.
 
Buildings that were once familiar landmarks have been demolished, to make way for a series of new developments - the new main library being the most obvious underway so far.

But what does it all really mean?
 
And when will we all be able to enjoy the benefits?

regeneration sites in swindon
The future of Swindon:
the key areas to be regenerated over the next five years

We've conducted a series of on-the-spot interviews with some of the key decision makers in Swindon, whose job it is to make Swindon an all-together better place to live and work.
 
New Swindon Company
 
After the setting up of the New Swindon Company in 2002, Swindon bid for part of the Government's Growth Point Fund and received over £3 million to help fund the growth of the town.
 
And now, that funding acquired from the government, is starting to be matched by money invested by the private sector.
 
1. THE EXCHANGE
 
Where is it?

A site located either side of Fleming Way; an area stretching from the railway station to the Wyvern theatre. You may remember the old Post Office and former Police Station were on the site.
 
What's planned?

Essentially, a mixed-use development - predominantly office space, hotel and leisure facilities, plus residential properties.

The Wyvern Theatre - an iconic build of the 1970s, but let's face it, looking a bit tired on the exterior - will also receive a revamp in the form of new car parking facilities.

What's happened so far?

Well, for starters the old Post Office and Police Station have been demolished, as well as the old Arriva Ford garage on the corner of Princes Street and Fleming Way.

The Ford site being the first place due for development, after hotel chain Jurys Inn were granted planning permission to build a 200-bedroom hotel.

The old Post Office and Police Station sites have been cleared and talks are underway with potential developers, to provide new residential and office properties.

The old Post Office site in Swindon
Clearing the way:
the old Post Office site
will become office and residential space
Jurys Inn in Swindon
Vision of the future:
how the former Ford Garage site will look when Jurys Inn hotel is built
Wyvern Theatre in Swindon
Cultural quarter:
the Wyvern is seen as
a key link between
The Exchange and
The Promenade

THE PROMENADE
 
Where is it?

Spanning the area around the Town Hall and including the old Swindon College site, t he new Regent Place will be a vital link between Old Town and the town centre.

What's planned?

A cultural complex for Swindon.
Featuring a cinema, restaurants, cafés, and a multi-million pound Debenhams store, the new project will hopefully bring a buzz to an area which is currently lacking in nightlife and social activity.

What's happened so far?
The new central library is really starting to take shape, and should be nearing completion in the next couple of months - m eanwhile, demolition on the old Swindon College building should commence later this month.

Completion date

If everything goes to plan, the new library should open in November 2008, with the new cinema etc. completed by Spring 2009.

OLD:
The old Swindon College site
Coming down:
the derelict Swindon
College campus will be no more by summer 2008
NEW:
The new-look Regent Place in Swindon
Contemporary edge:
shops, cafés, and a place to enjoy free time - how Regent Place will look
New library site in Swindon
Opening soon:
new library
almost complete
The new library site in Swindon
Set for rejuvenation:
a view of the Town Hall from
the top of Regent Street
 
 
THE HUB
 
Where is it?
 
Swindon's town centre, including the entire retail area. Critically, it includes the Morley Street car park area.
 
What's planned?
 
Wharf Green (the area in front of House of Fraser) is soon to be completed, with the biggest attraction coming in the form of a BBC big screen broadcasting music and sporting events through 24/7 live coverage.

The old covered market is to be taken down. Plans and discussions are ongoing for a number of cafés and bistros to replace it.

Plans for Morley Street are ongoing because of the sensitive nature of the existing shops and services already on the site (see picture below).

What's happened so far?

The big screen is up, and a launch date is expected at the beginning of April - with big plans for entertainment in the latter part of 2008 including a spectacular Christmas countdown courtesy of inSwindon.

The first stage required for compulsary purchase on a number of properties surrounding the Morley Street car park has been agreed by Swindon Borough Council.
 
Swindon town centre is set to be transformed
New look:
Canal Walk is set to be modernised
Wharf Green in Swindon
Wharf Green:
home of the new big screen and café life
Morley Street regeneration in Swindon
Morley St car park:
a major part of The Hub redevelopment
 

SWINDON CENTRAL
 
Where is it?
 
The area surrounding the train station.
 
What's planned?
 
In short, to open up the entrance to Swindon from the train station, and create a better connection between the North and South sides of the town, currently split by the rail line itself.
 
Making room for offices and flats, the general emphasis is on making the area more attractive.
 
What's happened so far?
 
New signage to help direct commuters in to the town centre will be going up over the coming weeks, and the New Swindon Company are currently in talks with Network Rail to discuss the transformation of land around the train station.
 
Train station in Swindon
M4 corridor:
Swindon's train station is
a vital business link from the
west country to London
Swindon train station
The bigger picture:
developers are hoping to use some of the car parking land as part of the regeneration
 
THE CAMPUS
 
Where is it?
 
The new Swindon College site which is situated next to the Oasis Leisure Centre.
 
What's planned?
 
Developers have highlighted it as one of the essential areas of improvement, transforming it into an educational hub - with hopes of attracting a university to the town.
 
Plans for the Oasis will either see it revamped or moved completely to a new location.
 
What's happened so far?
 
After the disappointment of Bath University's move to Swindon falling through, new promise has arrived in the form of UWE (the University of West of England) which is mainly based in Bristol.
 
Talks continue on the future of probably Swindon's most famous building - the Oasis, and whether it should be completely redeveloped or demolished and relocated.
 
Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon
Icon or eye-sore?:
the unusual Oasis architecture
has been a focal point
of Swindon's identity
web link Oasis - more
University of Bath in Swindon
A thing of the past?:
after the University of Bath
pulled out of Swindon,
new hopes could arrive
in the form of UWE
 
PUBLIC REALM
 
Where is it?
 
All public space around the town centre.
 
What's planned?
 
Developers want to create a safe, attractive public space which will benefit residents and visitors alike - through which they are hoping to create a greater sense of identity in the town.
 
The regeneration focuses on seven main areas of public use:
 
1. Wharf Green (where the BBC's big screen is being constructed)
2. Canal Walk (shopping area which flows from Wharf Green to The Parade)
3. The Parade (in front of Debenhams)
4. Regent Street
5. Bridge Street
6. Havelock Terrace
7. Wellington Street
 
What's happened so far?
 
inSwindon, formerly the Town Centre Management Company, are responsible for public space in the town centre, and last year introduced a 'Street Team' who add a security presence, whilst also offering help and advice to customers in the centre.
 
Canal Walk in Swindon
Opening up?:
the canopies around the Brunel Centre may be removed to improve the look of Canal Walk
inSwindon's Street Team in Swindon
On patrol:
the new inSwindon Street Team initiative to improve visitor safety in the town centre
 
OTHER DEVELOPMENTS
 
Kevin McCloud and Hab Housing:
 
Kevin McCloud in Swindon
Eco-vision:
Kevin McCloud wants to
bring two new sustainable
developments to Swindon
Grand Designs guru Kevin McCloud has set his sights on Swindon for a new building project, which could see the town become one of the most eco-friendly in the country.

His building company, Hab Housing, propose to build up to 200 eco-homes on the former Pickards Small Field allotment site, just off Pinehurst Road.

This is the second plot selected for these homes, after the Wichelstowe proposal back in July 2007.

The plans also include a vision of large-scale car-sharing and locally-produced organic food shops situated around the town.
 
Kevin McCloud in Swindon
Kevin McCloud and Swindon - watch video
 

Football Club:
Malpas and Byrne, Swindon Town managers
Team effort:
Maurice Malpas and Dave Byrne
Probably the longest ongoing development saga in Swindon's history.
 
And now, with ambitious new owners at the County Ground, a situation that may now be resolved in the next five years.
 
An aborted attempt to relocate STFC to Shaw Tip in West Swindon in 2004, being the last time a serious plan was put in place to see the club move from it's present council-owned, town centre home.

New owners of Swindon Town FC
Taking Town forward:
the new management team at STFC
watch video

Mel Turner-Wright

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RELATED LINKS
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  Swindon Borough Council  
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