Shoppers visiting the town centre will have noticed that some of the empty shop units now look a little bit different. 

Abandoned buildings like the House of Fraser store in Wharf Green which closed for good in 2021 have been covered in new sticker vinyl displays advertising the 'Best of Swindon' in what appears to be an attempt to make the area look nicer. 

But not everyone is happy, as among the things praised by the new graphics is the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery - which was closed down last year and has remained unavailable to the public since then. 

Underneath the word 'curiosity' one of the graphics says: "Did you know? Swindon has a remarkable art collection in its museum and art gallery. It has a reputation of being one of the finest British 20th-century art collections outside of London."

Swindon Advertiser: A new shop display promoting the closed Swindon Museum and Art GalleryA new shop display promoting the closed Swindon Museum and Art Gallery (Image: Marcus Kittridge)

Reacting to this, one member of the public, Marcus Kittridge, who runs a business in the town centre, said: "It beggars belief that they are singing the praises of The Swindon Art Gallery Museum that was closed down last year."

Also much maligned was a section that said 'ambition' accompanied by pictures of various iconic buildings in the area, like the David Murray John Tower, the Spectrum Building and Swindon train station. 

But also among them was the Tented Market, which much like the former museum and art gallery building in Old Town, currently sits empty and unused. 

One person said: "Loving that one of the examples of AMBITION is the Tented Market. The place where all tenants were thrown out of 6 years ago."

Swindon Advertiser: The former House of Fraser store looks a little different nowThe former House of Fraser store looks a little different now (Image: Marcus Kittridge)Another added: "I don't understand why a closed down shop is decorated with the phrase 'the best of Swindon'? What's the thinking?"

Recently construction workers were spotted ‘ripping out’ several empty units inside the Arcade end of the Brunel Shopping Centre which property management company FI Real Estate Management said was 'remediation works that are routinely undertaken after properties have been vacated to ready them for their next use'.

The area has been earmarked for redevelopment since October 2019 when plans to build twin towers there were put in. 

After two years of upheaval caused by the Covid pandemic, FI Real Estate confirmed in October 2022 that it intended to continue with its plans for the tower blocks and since then a number of businesses have been relocated away from it.