A BUYER could soon be found for the Aspen House site in Swindon town centre.

The council said it was finalising the terms of the Regent Street sale and expected to make an announcement by the end of August.

Outline planning permission was granted in 2017 for 118 apartments in a 13-storey high block on the site of the former council offices at Aspen House, built in the 1970s and demolished in 2014. Last year, the council asked developers interested in taking on the site to come forward.

While many will welcome news a developer could finally have been found, it does mean artists’ plans for a colourful new display on the hoardings around the site opposite The Savoy pub have been axed.

The project, organised by town centre artists’ collective Artsite, would have seen Swindon-born Martin Travers – who has worked across the globe – paint the street-art inspired mural.

InSwindon said a new site for the mural would be found.

Chief executive Di Powell added: “The mural at Aspen House was always a temporary measure until the development was sold and we could move the hoarding to an alternative location.

“Progress on the sale of the site has been far quicker than we expected, and it means that we’re moving forward with finding the mural’s permanent location ahead of schedule, to ensure its longevity.

“The recent progress the council has made on the development site is positive news for the town centre as it demonstrates that businesses want to invest in Swindon.”

Coun Dale Heenan, cabinet member for the town centre, said: “I am very pleased that the sale of this prominent site in the town centre has accelerated and an announcement on its future will be made shortly. It is crucial that visible progress in town centre regeneration is made and, as a result of the sale, this site is no longer suitable for the mural.

“I am very keen for the council to continue working with inSwindon BID and Artsite to find a more appropriate home as soon as possible.”

When the artists for the new mural were announced earlier this month, Sally Taylor of Artsite said the project would make the centre more vibrant: “My hope is that this project will initiate more murals and art projects, providing opportunities for local artists to work with communities.”