SWINDON councillors reacted to reports of the Designer Outlet potentially being put up for sale.

Representatives of the Rodbourne area hoped that if the retail destination is indeed on the market, the outlet’s potential new owners would keep the successful shopping centre going for the foreseeable future.

Coun Jim Robbins, on behalf of his fellow members Kevin Small and Steph Exell, said: “We hope that a new buyer can be found who will safeguard the long term future of the outlet centre.

“We’re keen to see the details around the sale. We want to understand why it is up for sale and how certain is the future of the centre.

“With the town centre seeing shops closing and regeneration efforts failing, residents rely on the outlet for their shopping.

“The last thing we need is more businesses closing after Honda leaving and the outlet centre being made into more houses without the proper infrastructure.

“As local councillors for the area, we hope a new buyer can be found, and one who is more receptive to working with us to solve the traffic issues that the centre brings at busy times.”

The 128-unit Designer Outlet on Kemble Drive attracts thousands of shoppers from around the county and south west England each week.

Housed inside part of the old railway works, the shopping centre saw customers flock back after lockdown lifted and July and management welcomed Yo! Sushi to the west entrance earlier this month.

Swindon Borough Council leader David Renard said: “The Swindon Designer Outlet Centre is one of Swindon’s great success stories attracting thousands of shoppers from near and far.

“We have worked extremely well with the current owners to ensure the Outlet’s continued popularity and, should the centre change hands, we would welcome an early discussion.”

Real estate website Property EU reports that Nuveen is launching the sale of its UK designer outlet platform, which includes the two retail destinations and will be the UK's largest outlet transaction.

The landlord has mandated Morgan Williams to manage the sale which is expected to attract interest from investors from around the UK, Europe and further afield internationally.

The Adver understands that the information about the sale came from the agents, Morgan Williams, though when approached for comment, Morgan Williams did not respond before deadline. The Adver also approached Nuveem for comment but did not receive a response before deadline.