Swindon AdvertiserThere’s hope at last for iconic building (From Swindon Advertiser)

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There’s hope at last for iconic building

Swindon Advertiser: The Locarno, in Old Town, which may become a site for a hotel and homes The Locarno, in Old Town, which may become a site for a hotel and homes

PROGRESS is being made on plans that could see one of the most iconic buildings in Old Town returned to its former glory.

The Corn Exchange, also known as the Locarno, is a grade II listed building and has been standing empty for decades.

Now negotiations are taking place that could see the site become an 82-bedroom hotel alongside 49 homes and commercial space.

It is hoped that when the development is completed it will be the new heart of Old Town, and talks are taking place between the landowners and a developer.

While much of the details are being kept under-wraps for commercial purposes, some of the contributions the council is making have been revealed.

Last week the cabinet agreed to enter into an agreement with the landowners to combine their respective lands so as to make a combined development.

On top of that, they are also considering compulsory purchase orders on a number of properties in the area.

Those being considered are the Forum on Marlborough Road, which houses a branch of HSBC, the Masons building and some other properties along Marlborough Road. These will only go ahead if needed and the cost will be paid by either the owner of the Corn Exchange or the developer.

Support of up to £1m is being made available to assist with the development by the council, although this must be given in such a way that does not constitute state aid.

A sum of up to £350,000 will also be spent on upgrading the pavements and road network to make it more pedestrian friendly.

The council will then look to recoup this money from profits made in the commercial aspect of the development.

Council leader David Renard (Con, Haydon Wick) said: “The Corn Exchange is iconic within Old Town and a very important part of Swindon’s heritage.

“We believe it is very important that it is restored and a deal is hopefully close to being successfully negotiated.

“It is between two private companies so the council can only get involved so far but we are looking to help out where we can.”

Plans for the grade II-listed building were put on display for several weeks last summer and received widespread support.

A number of proposals had previously been put forward but were rejected or fell through.

Upon seeing the proposals Martha Parry, the chairwoman of Swindon Civic Voice, said: “We are pleased to see that a proper approach has now been taken, to understanding the historic character and significance of this area.

“The analysis has been done carefully and is a long way forward from past proposals.”

Comments (11)

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7:05am Fri 4 Jul 14

swindondad says...

Lets hope something will finally be done with this eyesore. People have been talking and planning to sort it out since before I first moved to Swindon 25 years ago but as yet they have not DONE anything.
Lets hope something will finally be done with this eyesore. People have been talking and planning to sort it out since before I first moved to Swindon 25 years ago but as yet they have not DONE anything. swindondad
  • Score: 11

7:56am Fri 4 Jul 14

Sandor Clegane says...

Another complete waste of what was once a truly stunning building.
Another complete waste of what was once a truly stunning building. Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 10

9:50am Fri 4 Jul 14

Ollie Dognacky says...

Another hotel for Swindon's awesome tourist trade and more flats.
Good job our affluent council are able to sponsor this truly great event with a £ million (to begin with?)
Score +312 👍
Another hotel for Swindon's awesome tourist trade and more flats. Good job our affluent council are able to sponsor this truly great event with a £ million (to begin with?) Score +312 👍 Ollie Dognacky
  • Score: -5

10:55am Fri 4 Jul 14

swindondad says...

A couple questions for anyone who is against this (or similar developments).

WHEN was this building last used for ANY constructive purpose?

WHERE is the business plan for any alternative you prefer / is it viable?
A couple questions for anyone who is against this (or similar developments). WHEN was this building last used for ANY constructive purpose? WHERE is the business plan for any alternative you prefer / is it viable? swindondad
  • Score: 6

11:11am Fri 4 Jul 14

nobody says...

"upgrading the pavements and road network to make it more pedestrian friendly"

Hopefully not another Regent Circus!
"upgrading the pavements and road network to make it more pedestrian friendly" Hopefully not another Regent Circus! nobody
  • Score: 7

11:16am Fri 4 Jul 14

Davey Gravey says...

Why does every historic building in swindon have an on going soap opera about it?
They all go to ruin first though don't they?
👎-100
Why does every historic building in swindon have an on going soap opera about it? They all go to ruin first though don't they? 👎-100 Davey Gravey
  • Score: 1

4:07pm Fri 4 Jul 14

GrumpyLocal says...

nobody wrote:
"upgrading the pavements and road network to make it more pedestrian friendly"

Hopefully not another Regent Circus!
This is the only concerning thing for me in this project. The plans have shown a redevelopment of the main road outside the building, which as everyone knows is a busy road at the best of times. The redesign does seem to try and reduce the volume of traffic but didn't actually have any suggestions (from what I saw) about where it would go instead.
If the plan is to go down a "shared usage" area such as they are trying to implement in outside the new Cinema complex, there are going to be some serious incidents before too long.
[quote][p][bold]nobody[/bold] wrote: "upgrading the pavements and road network to make it more pedestrian friendly" Hopefully not another Regent Circus![/p][/quote]This is the only concerning thing for me in this project. The plans have shown a redevelopment of the main road outside the building, which as everyone knows is a busy road at the best of times. The redesign does seem to try and reduce the volume of traffic but didn't actually have any suggestions (from what I saw) about where it would go instead. If the plan is to go down a "shared usage" area such as they are trying to implement in outside the new Cinema complex, there are going to be some serious incidents before too long. GrumpyLocal
  • Score: 3

4:41pm Fri 4 Jul 14

candid friend says...

I hope the "untainted" members of the Tory Group and being entrusted with
this job.
We have had years and years of promises from now retired councillors who thought that they were "property experts". All Blah, no development.
This site is a disgrace. The Old Swindon Town Hall as an unromantic ruin
being circled by doubtful characters looking for a quick buck at the detriment of the ratepayers.
I hope the "untainted" members of the Tory Group and being entrusted with this job. We have had years and years of promises from now retired councillors who thought that they were "property experts". All Blah, no development. This site is a disgrace. The Old Swindon Town Hall as an unromantic ruin being circled by doubtful characters looking for a quick buck at the detriment of the ratepayers. candid friend
  • Score: 2

5:26pm Fri 4 Jul 14

We are PANTS says...

nobody wrote:
"upgrading the pavements and road network to make it more pedestrian friendly"

Hopefully not another Regent Circus!
I think making the road system like regent circus will actually benefit Old Town... Giving it more character will attract more much needed business!!
Thumbs up from me....
[quote][p][bold]nobody[/bold] wrote: "upgrading the pavements and road network to make it more pedestrian friendly" Hopefully not another Regent Circus![/p][/quote]I think making the road system like regent circus will actually benefit Old Town... Giving it more character will attract more much needed business!! Thumbs up from me.... We are PANTS
  • Score: 1

11:06pm Fri 4 Jul 14

Oik1 says...

It would make a great spot for a car park.
It would make a great spot for a car park. Oik1
  • Score: 1

11:07pm Fri 4 Jul 14

Oik1 says...

Oh, it already is !
Oh, it already is ! Oik1
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

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