THE return of HMV to the High Street could spark a turn-around in fortunes for Swindon’s town centre.

The music chain closed its doors in March this year after it was identified as one of 36 less profitable stores around the country by administrators who blamed poor sales on competition from online retailers.

When the store closed 16 permanent staff were made redundant but the company will be in contact with them to help fill the 12 new roles that the store will create.

The store, in Regent Street, will reopen on Thursday, August 22, on just one sales floor, instead of the three it previously traded on.

A spokesman for HMV said: “We are delighted to be reopening the HMV store in Swindon .

“HMV Swindon has always been a valued store within the HMV estate and it was extremely disappointing when the administrators took the decision to close the store earlier in the year.

“The staff and management at the store look forward, once again, to providing their customers with the best music, film and games retail experience.

“The store will employ 12 people and, yes, we have been in touch with some of the previous staff.”

Heydar Faramarzi, president of Swindon Chamber of Commerce, was delighted with the news and said he was hearing a lot of positive news about the future of the town.

He said: “The more shops and stalls like HMV moving to Swindon is better news for everyone and is a sign that things are improving.

“The inward investment is still something that is helping Swindon.

“I know the economy is getting back on its feet and with stores like HMV it is promoting the retail side of the town to encourage other businesses.

“I hear a lot of things that I keep to myself until they are true but what I hear is very positive for Swindon in the future.”

Shoppers yesterday were also pleased to hear that the well-known music chain was returning to Swindon.

Samantha Paige, 28, of the town centre, said: “It is good to know that the store will be re-opening because at the moment it does not look great as an empty building.

“It is difficult for any store at the moment to compete with the internet, which is why it probably closed, but it is still nice to go in and see what you are buying. I hope the staff who lost their jobs will be able to re-apply for them.”

Simon Cunningham, 17, of Walcot, said: “There isn’t any choice to buy music in town at the moment so it is good to have somewhere to go and see the latest games and music.”