Today, we're taking a look at the origins of the Swindon Designer Outlet.

The historic Great Western Railway Works closed in the 1980s and were then converted into a popular retail destination in the mid-90s.

Originally known as the Great Western Designer Outlet Village, the McArthur Glen site officially opened in March 1997 with a parade of former GWR staff marching to their old workplace.

Impressed dignitaries and businesspeople from Belgium visited the outlet in 1998 as they considered plans to build a similar retail hub in their home country.

Later that year, the outlet village became the first shopping centre to receive the Excellence Award from the British Tourist Board. They were the joint winners for the South Central Region with Waddesdon Manor near Aylesbury.

The centre's management team continued to expand the shopping hub in the following years, with phase two underway in 1999 and the old Long Shop transformed in 2002.

Over the last 26 years, the Rodbourne retail village has attracted hundreds of thousands of customers from far and wide who want to bag a bargain.

It has also held several events to provide extra entertainment for families, even inviting The Muppets along for a day in August 2001.