BASKETS of flowers of sprung up in the town centre to encourage shoppers to come into Swindon and give a boost to local shops.

More than 130 hanging baskets have adorned the main shopping high streets around The Parade and down Regent Street.

They have been paid for by the inSwindon BID Company who put up the flowers on behalf of 480 businesses in the town centre using money from the business rates.

Nigel Moorcroft, Great Western Camera’s Owner and inSwindon Director said: “The hanging baskets are a welcome addition to the town centre, local businesses rely on regular visitors to the town centre so it’s absolutely vital that their experience is a good one!"

Di Powell, inSwindon BID CEO, said: “The baskets have made a huge difference to the town centre, creating a colourful and summery environment, one that visitors can take pride in and enjoy, whether they are shopping, visiting or doing business. This is a real opportunity to come together as a community, in collaboration, with residents, businesses and community groups to create a ‘blooming lovely’ town centre”

But it remains to be seen whether the floral displays will go any way towards rejuvenating businesses in the town centre.

Roger Shackles, owner of Sew Craft on Havelock Street, said shoppers impressions were long lasting.“We’ve had complements about them, we like it. Aesthetically it looks a lot nicer. This week has been a bit better but whether that’s down to the flowers I can’t tell you.

“It’s about time we did something. We need to change the view of the town centre. People’s impressions are very hard to change. The Bid company’s hand are tied when it comes to some of the people frequenting the town centre.”

Shoppers liked the flowers but had some reservations about the impact it will have preventing any more shops from closing.

Michael May, from Swindon, said: “I would say the flower lend a certain beauty to the parade and I think they are embellishment well worth paying for.”

Mandy, from West Swindon, said: “Yeah they look very pretty. We need more shops to open as well though. Maybe it will help, I’m not too sure.”

Malcom Calcutt, from North Swindon, said: “They look really nice. Something needs to be done to brighten the centre up. I could do with some on my house.”