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Work on new leisure and retail site to begin in May
9:10am Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
WORK to transform the derelict former Swindon College site into a £50m retail and leisure development will start in May, it has been announced.
The scheme in Regent Circus, which will include a Morrisons, eight restaurants and bars, a six-screen digital cinema and a 450- space car park, is expected to be completed in the autumn next year.
The Ashfield Land development will also include Ask, Nando’s and Prezzo, and will create hundreds of new jobs.
Ashfield Land’s managing director, Andrew Fisher, said: “I can confirm that demolition and site clearance is now complete and the construction of our Regent Circus mixed use development will get under way in May, marking the beginning of the complete transformation of this part of Swindon town centre.
“We are excited at the prospect of seeing the scheme begin to take shape this year and we envisage that it will be completed and open before the end of 2014.
“Despite the tough economic climate that still prevails we have always been determined to deliver on our promise to provide Swindon with a first class retail and leisure destination.
“With the support of major companies such as Morrisons and Cineworld our significant investment will result in the regeneration of what was a dilapidated area of the town centre and promises to create hundreds of jobs for local people.”
The last piece of the old Swindon College building was pulled down in August last year.
Ashfield Land acquired the freehold of the site in 2006 which facilitated Swindon College’s relocation to a new £17m campus.
Construction contractors ISG will start work on the private sector regeneration project in May.
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said: “This is a welcome step forward for the regeneration of our town centre and I’m delighted that we have a timetable. I am very glad that from late next year we will have new amenities in the town centre.”
North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson who is also vice chairman of the parliamentary retail and town centres group, said: “This is fantastic news for our town centre regeneration.
“This in its own right is a crucial major improvement for our town centre and will help trigger the other potential developments.
“Whenever I have talked to major retailers and developers they have always made it clear as soon as the economy picks up and they are able to access the funds, Swindon is always at the front of the queue for redevelopment.
“They recognise we have more than 300,000 shoppers within 20 minutes and three million within an hour.”