Works starts on Wharf Green
A major stage in the regeneration of Swindon town centre has begun.
All set for a transformation:
the Wharf Green area
Wharf Green, that much maligned area between Market Street and Brunel Walk, has been flattened to make way for a communal space featuring a large open-air café, hanging gardens, water features - and one of largest big screen televisions in the south of England.
"It's work that's much overdue, but will be well worth it," Swindon Borough Council leader Rod Bluh told us, while inspecting the site.
"Alongside the newly refurbished Wyvern Theatre and new library, it's yet another positive step in our plans to make Swindon town centre the vibrant and attractive place we all want."
Particularly impressive will be the installation of a permanent BBC Big Screen - the first of its kind outside London - which will show the best local film and video content together with BBC programmes, local information, interactive games and big events.
Coming to a square near you:
an artist's impression of how Wharf Green will look
"Our goal is to create a town that has life and energy. And good quality public areas are key elements in achieving this," added Peter James chief executive of the New Swindon Company, the organisation co-ordinating the project.
"Hosting the only screen in the South will propel Swindon's image to a national level. This new development will start to create that lively bustle that has been absent for so long."
Work is expected to be completed by summer 2008.
Also set to go:
the covered market nearby will close very shortly
to make way for more redevelopment
New life for Wharf Green
09 February 2007
One of Swindon town centre's most underutilised areas is all set to be transformed - and the people doing it have been listening to your opinions.
This weekend the plans to redevelop Wharf Green, near the House of Fraser, have been on display in the Brunel Centre to invite comment from local people and those working in the area.
And so far, it's been a universal thumbs up to the idea.
Have your say:
the Wharf Green exhibition is in the Brunel Centre
all day Saturday and Sunday
The plans include space for a large open-air café, big screen television, a climbing wall, water features and sympathetic landscaping.
"It's just what the town centre needs," said Carole Buchanan, 45, "a bit of cafe culture in Swindon. I like it."
the proposed plan for Wharf Green (today, above)
and Summer 2008 (below)
"A dramatic improvement!" commented Ben Jutten, 23, "I can't say I've ever stopped off in Wharf Green before because there's nothing there, but if this does happen I definitely will."
"We want to breathe new life into this area and provide the people of Swindon with public space of which they can be proud," said Peter James of the New Swindon Company, the organisation co-ordinating the project as well as the overall re-generation of Swindon town centre.
In the future?:
how a tree-lined Canal Walk may look
Improvements also extend to adding a tree-lined walkway to Canal Walk.
An aerial view of the proposed plans