A GRADE II listed building in the heart of Swindon will be transformed into a 112-bedroom Hampton by Hilton hotel.

Contractors began transforming the former Paragon Laundry building in Aylesbury Street into the hotel which they hope will give the historic site a new lease of life.

The £12m regeneration project is being undertaken by Old Town-based development company Ridgevale Estates Ltd, who already own and run a Hampton by Hilton in Dundee and a Holiday Inn Express in Windsor.

CEO Jas Gill said: “This hotel is going to be fantastic for Swindon and I am really looking forward to seeing the development progress as it will be a great enhancement for the town and the local area.

“The first stage of the work will involve the listed part of the building and we have employed a specialist contractor to carry out this phase which will preserve and enhance the façade.

“The history of the building is very important to us and it will still be recognisable to local people. The main part of the hotel will be very modern to meet Hilton’s specific requirements and high standards. It’s a really exciting project.”

The six-storey hotel, which will be visible from the railway line and feature 23 parking spaces, is expected to create up to 60 jobs and is likely to take 18 months to build.

The existing building used to be a Victorian dairy, built in 1876 by the Aylesbury Dairy Company and converted into an industrial steam laundry in 1891.

Coun Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for the town centre, said: “Hampton by Hilton is an internationally-recognised hotel brand so I’m delighted we will now have one in a prime location near the railway station. There is a clear demand from business so I expect this hotel to be successful.

“Jas and his team have done a great job with the design of the building, and I am especially pleased they have preserved the historic look of the exterior while finding a sympathetic modern use.

"They have set a high bar that I hope other developers will follow. This project has been talked about for over 10 years, but Ridgevale are making it happen. Well done.

“The council is committed to finding sustainable uses for the town's heritage sites and this project is an example of one where plans will be supported if they are complementary.

"Completion will help transform this area because we have the recent improvements to Wellington Street opposite the railway station, the new Hampton by Hilton hotel to the left, and the ongoing refurbishment of the GWR Carriage Works is to the right.

“Our plans to revitalise our heritage assets will not stop there - it is also our ambition to restore the nearby Mechanics Institute through the Heritage Action Zone.”