Reacting to the news of House of Fraser’s impending closure, one Swindon councillor explained that town centres need to adapt.

Councillor Robert Jandy said the closure was part of a national trend as people turn to online shopping.

He said: “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.”

But readers had conflicting ideas about what the future of the town centre should look like.

Jenn Wolfie: "It’s been needing to change for ages!"

Michael Fitchett: "Bring exciting shops to the town centre. Cut rents so these shops can survive, else you have no shops."

Tom Patrick Donovan: "Make parking free!"

Bradley Crook John: "Drop the rents and put shops that everyone needs and wants."

Tracey Anne Dodson: "Could put a market back in there like there used to be on Fleet Street and Brunel. What happened to the revamp of Fleet Street bus stops?"

Joanne Burberry: "This has been said for so many years and nothing improves. Just gets worse."

Pam Perrett: "The town centre has been run down for years."

Bevan Lloyd: "My concern is that they seem to only realise this now when other places have adapted already. Example of this is the Christmas extravaganza on for two days in November. How about having something on for every weekend leading up to Christmas? Attract people into the town centre and might need some shops worthwhile of a visit too."

Drashig: "I’ve been to several other town centres recently, and I have to say, they are far superior to Swindon. It’s not the fact that more people are shopping online. I believe it’s more to do with rents and rates."

Richard Hart: "Stop turning every empty shop into flats and student accommodation and put the rents down and scrap business rates to make it viable for businesses to want to be there in the first place."

Gina Miller: "More excuses. Visit Bath, Reading, Oxford, etc, and see brilliant vibrant shopping centres. I’ve recently been to Solihull and Crewe and they have fantastic facilities. Just get the shops back."

LifeGirl: "It’s a national problem that started long before the pandemic – sad but true. The future of town centres is that of the Parisian boulevard. Coffee shops, outdoor dining, the odd speciality shop."

Diogo Costa: "Why get into traffic, parking and bother if I can buy a shirt at M&S Orbital? Goods online or out of an unattractive city centre like this one in Swindon? Not a nice sight nor historic/architecture relevance, not easy, not cheap and not much to do, see or buy.

Lee Barnard: Surprised everyone seems to think retail shops have a future. You obviously aren’t paying attention to macroeconomics. The High Street as we know it is over. Changing business rates and making parking free is not going to solve it."

Al Smith: "It’s out-of-town retail that did the real damage to the High Street or town centre. Of course they are trying to shift the blame to the internet but they did the real harm. I remember Tesco’s on The Parade being a full blown proper supermarket. The one on Ocotal Way was built and now Parade one is a Tesco Express. That said, SBC has made it worse as they’ve made the Town Centre more difficult to get to by car which has helped kill it."

Batch: "Not convinced the Fleming Way bus boulevard makes things more accessible to be Honest. "Just further cuts off one side of town from the other when in a car."

JimboJetSet: "My personal opinion is the town centre should be much more concentrated, and the bit where the old Wilkinsons is should just be flattened. But it’s not all bad, there are just a lot of bad bits between the good bits. Paying for parking is also an issue. Why pay when you can pop to the Orbital for free or the Outlet for a quid? They’re in competition with retail parks and the Outlet, so any barrier is unhelpful. I also find the online excuse weak. Primark isn’t online yet they thrive because they offer people something they want and are willing to travel to."