A THRIVING café culture in Old Town, vibrant businesses in the town centre and a proudly-maintained Railway Village form part of a new blueprint from Swindon Council.

A "green spine of grass and trees" is also on the cards for the middle of town.

On Wednesday the Swindon borough cabinet will look at the Central Area Action Plan, which maps out a vision for safe and economically strong zones within the town.

The wards of Eastcott, Central, Gorse Hill, Pinehurst, Old Town and Lawn are all covered by the document.

The central area is made up of five zones marked for development up until 2026.

Regeneration work is proposed for the town centre, North Star, the Railway Village, central Swindon's residential areas and Old Town.

The vision is: "A central area that has life and energy throughout the day and into the evening.

"It will be an attractive area, safe and accessible place that people will choose for shopping, leisure, working and living."

Not unsurprisingly, the town centre is the main focus for civic, leisure, office and retail facilities.

At North Star the scheme proposes more residential development with an element of housing.

The plan calls for further restoration of vacant or underused buildings in the Railway Village in order to boost income.

Old Town's bars and restaurants should be better connected to the centre of Swindon with public transport, thereby helping to attract shoppers from across the borough.

The brief admits that there is a lack of greenery in the middle of Swindon, and so one of the objectives is the creation of a Green Spine', which should improve pedestrian and cycle routes.

While the action plan lays out a number of aims, it is a planning policy guideline so does not commit the council to spending any money.

Instead it is hoped that the council will able to appeal for funding from groups like the South West Regional Development Agency and improve its chances through a coherent picture of what is wanted.

If the plan is approved, it will form the framework for the regeneration of Swindon.

All planning applications submitted to the council would be measured against its aims and criteria.