When The Crossing suffered delays and setbacks in August 2017, some Adver readers were doubtful that the project would be successful.

But in the two years since the April 2018 opening, it has gone from strength to strength and now provides a food and cultural hub for the town centre.

Among its offerings is independent eateries such as Burger Priest and Soul Shack along with global-sandwich chain Subway.

Speaking to the Adver Lewis Fagence, relationship manager at The Brunel, said: “Two years on from the refurbishment, the appeal of having a local food hub is clear.

“Not only is The Crossing supporting a number of local entrepreneurs who are developing their foodie ventures, it is providing spaces for people to socialise, which can only be a good thing for Swindon town centre.”

Lewis has been working for the Brunel for two and half years and has seen The Crossing develop.

He said: “I’ve seen it grow in strength throughout my time.

“All the retailers work well together – we work and communicate as best as we can.

“Broccoli Pizza & Pasta was one of the first to open. What was exciting about that was that you had never heard of it.”

He told the Adver: “It is a unique location. It’s beautiful and there’s nothing like it in the surrounding town centre area.

“It’s a great place. It’s about trying things that will work and it’s exciting to see what might come next.”

The Crossing is currently home to 10 food outlets everything from pizzas to sandwiches to burgers.

One business that has found a home there is Indy’s Vegan Kitchen, owned and run by Victoria Capener.

She told the Adver: “It’s been really good. There’s a lovely mix of different people that come up.

“Because here are so many different outlets in here you do get all kinds of people that are looking for something different so I really enjoy every day.

“I’m lucky enough to have loyal regular customers as well.”

Jamie McCabe, who helps run McCtaffs Cafe at the end of The Crossing, believes that the hub has been a success.

He said: “I used to work in the Brunel a few years back at Hawkins Bazaar and the vibe of the place at the time was really cool.

“I remember the community feel of it from Brunel staff. The security team and the cleaning team took the time out to say hi and I just thought it’s a nice collective environment.

“It’s been great. It’s exactly the reason why we wanted to come in here.

“The good thing about it is that it attracts a range of people from youngsters to the elderly, business people to casual workers.

“In my opinion it is one of the best things to happen to the town centre in terms of accommodating a mass group of people.

“That is very handy for the retailers in here, from the independents all the way up to the big chains like House of Fraser.”

Shoppers enjoy Crossing offerings

Shoppers in Swindon have revealed that The Crossing is a regular destination for many when it comes to finding a spot to eat in town.

Rob Palfrey, who works for Zurich and often goes to the hub for lunch with his colleagues, told the Adver: “There is a variety of choice already.

“I started coming here when it first opened. There’s about eight of us who come here and we go to other places and come back with different food.

“It’s done well but there is some room for improvement around the variety. We like the independents but then don’t always last too long and we could do with some more options.

“We’ve been coming here for two years so it could do with a bit of a refresh in terms of options as we’ve had them all now.”

Another regular visitor to The Crossing is 80-year-old Rosemary Dallas who visits McCtaffs every day.

She said: “I come here for coffee with my friends. It’s a good thing as the town is dead apart from this.

“When it was first announced we weren’t sure that it would actually work but it did and it does work in every other country when you think about it.”

But Libby Samuel who often passes through The Crossing on her way to the gym believes that the hub is often quiet.

She added: “I like sitting in the open and the cost is pretty cheap. I probably eat here two or three times a week.

“It’s very quiet generally but that’s probably more about retail in general than The Crossing itself.”

Sport, music and film at The Crossing

Now that The Crossing has established itself in the town centre, relationship manager Lewis Fagence is hoping to bring more live events to the hub.

Some events have already been held in the area, including live music event The Crossing Live as well as child-friendly discos and the monthly board game group Brunel Knights.

But there are still plans to bring more events and activities over the coming year.

Lewis told the Adver: “The Crossing being two years old now, we’ve tried a number of different bits and pieces.

“In 2020 we’re hoping to trial and try new things. We’re trying to keep it fresh. We’ve got live music, which will continue every week until the end of February.

“Once we’ve had a look at that and got the feedback we’ll either change that or keep it.”

In terms of even further in the future, Lewis added that the Brunel is looking at more events, but nothing is set in stone yet.

He added: “Nothing is confirmed at the moment but we would love to do something sporty. We know that Wimbledon is coming up and the Euros.

“I think lots of people like to come and check out what’s going on while they’re on their lunch and if we can offer that environment then we would like to do that.

“The last thing, which is my vision, is I would like to bring some small film to the centre. I don’t mean like a full cinema but almost like a classic film club or something like that.

“It’s more about that slightly more evening experience.”