Two major office blocks could be constructed by the private sector and then bought by Swindon Borough Council and leased back.

As the Adver reported yesterday, the council is in discussion with insurance and finance company Zurich for the company to move its Swindon operation to the new Kimmerfields development planned for the centre of town.

As part of that development, the borough council is actively looking at proposals for it to buy two office blocks after they’ve been built.

A decision was made by the Conservative cabinet in a private session to move forward with that plan and also to provide funding for access road and servicing of the land, currently owned between the council and Homes England, which could be sold to Zurich.

The notice of the decision says that senior council officers, along with senior members of the cabinet are authorised “to progress negotiations with the anchor occupier on the proposed purchase and simultaneous lease back of the two office buildings the occupier is proposing to construct and occupy at Kimmerfields.”

While it doesn’t name the occupier, the council and Zurich have confirmed that they are in discussion for the financial giant to move to the new development when its built.

Alex Jones, head of communications at Zurich said: “We’re not sure of how the mechanism might work. Discussions with Swindon Borough Council are at a very early stage, so whether we’d build the offices, or the council would buy them or there’s be some other mechanism is all still to be decided.

“But we do want to move offices in Swindon - we want our staff to work in a modern, fit-for-purpose office environment and we are looking to move. But we will be staying in Swindon. I can confirm our commitment to staying here - this is our largest site in terms of staff numbers and as Eagle Star and then Zurich we’ve been here a long time and will be staying.”

The borough council has ambitions to use the regeneration of the derelict land between Fleming Way, Station Road and Milford Street as a driver of investment into the town centre.

In 2017 its arrangement with developer Muse was ended by mutual consent after the cabinet felt the rate of progress on bringing the site to fruition was too slow.