Reacting to the news of House of Frasers closure, one Swindon councillor believes that it's time for town centres to adapt.

Councillor Robert Jandy, cabinet member for culture, heritage, leisure and town centre experience, said: “It is disappointing to see any large national chain store close its doors, but this is a national trend with more and more people turning to online shopping, which has only been accelerated by the pandemic.

“Town centres therefore have to change with the times and, here in Swindon, we are moving towards an ‘experiential’ model where we will begin to see more retail units converted into leisure, commercial or residential uses.

“We can expect to see more independent businesses and there is strong evidence of this in the Commercial Road and Faringdon Road areas.

“We are also working with landowners to reshape these areas to provide opportunities for smaller retail units, leisure, and food and beverage uses.

“The Council is also playing its part, leading over £100m of investment in town centre projects over the next four years, including the £33m redevelopment of Fleming Way.

“This will create a new bus interchange, pedestrian and cycle routes to make the centre of Swindon easier to access and move around.

“We’re also working with partners to deliver five town centre regeneration schemes worth £19.6M in total through the Towns Fund Board, including a project that will help unlock new homes and offices at Kimmerfields.

“Through the five-year, £7.6M Swindon Heritage Action Zone programme, we are working with partners to restore and repair neglected public buildings and bring them back into use, improve public spaces and connections between the historic railway village and the town centre.

“The snowball effect of this investment in the town centre, alongside that of the private sector in amenities, homes and offices, will only help to attract further investment into Swindon.

“It will take time but we’re committed to help deliver a town centre we can all be proud of in the years to come.”