SHOPPERS will return to The Circle’s shopping complex this week, one year after contractors began demolishing the original buildings.
Swindon Commercial Services (SCS) moved on-site on August 15 last year after the three businesses on the original site agreed a move-out date.
One Stop convenience store will begin moving in its new stock to the biggest unit this week, ahead of a 6am reopening on Thursday.
Chris Turland, a shift manager at the shop, said he and all the staff were looking forward to the new start and praised the temporary home they have all worked in, at the former library in The Circle.
He said: “It’s a massive space but I don’t think we’ll struggle to get customers in to fill it. I’ve found our current shop quite cosy, even if some of the others are ready to move on.
“We are looking forward to being able to see what they’ve done with such a big space.
“It’s going to be a challenge with it being so much busier and so much bigger. I’m told this has been three years in the waiting, so everyone is raring to go.
“That old building was literally falling apart. When it’s done and dusted across the road everyone will be a lot happier because this new shop is going to be there a long way into the future.”
The units either side of One Stop will be handed back to their tenants on Wednesday, with Pinehurst Fisheries fish and chip shop returning, along with a hairdressers, although it will be under new owners.
The two flats that are above the fish and chip shop and hairdressers will also be taken on by those people running the businesses.
The project itself cost £1.2m to complete and an official opening ceremony is due to take place in the coming weeks.
Coun John Ballman (Lab, Gorse Hill & Pinehurst) said: “It’s gone very well. It’s quite clearly a vast improvement on what was there before.
“In terms of measuring the success of the development, we have had very, very few complaints or issues.
“I can’t remember anyone saying anything negative about it.
“It has been very well managed by Swindon Council. It was a big project to remove and rebuild on the existing footprint and has required a lot of effort on the part of the people involved.”
Residents have also had their say on the reopening.
Steve Knowles, 49, of Laburnum Road, said: “It’s going to be great for the area. We have all waited for this for so long.
“When you watch it going up slowly, it gets you excited as the time passes by each month.”
Debbie Mills, 31, of Pinehurst Road, said: “It looks good. It will be nice to finally see it open after so long.
“I have heard that it’s very big inside, so I hope they can fill it and attract some more people to Pinehurst.”