A town centre office block’s new look aims to attract big names to Swindon as part of the area’s massive £1 billion regeneration scheme.

Since Zurich handed the keys to One Newbridge Square back to FI Real Estate Management in January 2023, the building has undergone an £8 million transformation to strip out the old fittings and bring in new flooring, lighting, air conditioning, and bathrooms, as well as move the entrance to open onto the rest of the square.

It is hoped that the refurbished four-storey site will entice major businesses to move into central Swindon and attract further investment.

Swindon Advertiser: A panoramic view of the office space on the fourth floor of One Newbridge SquareA panoramic view of the office space on the fourth floor of One Newbridge Square (Image: Newsquest)

Dominic Knowles led the 12-month project. He said: “It’s been a hell of a journey but it’s great to be here and finally get to show people around. It’s been well-received and looks brand new, people say ‘Wow’ when they see it for the first time.

“This building is 40 years old and was very clunky, so our concept was focused on improving the customer experience, wellness, and the site’s energy efficiency.

“Around the country, businesses are looking to downsize into smaller, better-quality spaces and there are corporations looking to do the same in Swindon but there was nowhere suitable for them.

“The only way to get blue chip tenants is by offering spaces of this quality, and no-one else is creating a product at this level.

“We need more property owners to invest in their buildings, then this could be a great office district.

“The bigger vision in the long term is to create a community hub for the entire square and provide amenities they can all share, perhaps set up an event space.”

Swindon Advertiser: The ground floor of One Newbridge SquareThe ground floor of One Newbridge Square (Image: Newsquest)

Dominic’s father Tim is the founder, managing director and owner of FI Real Estate Management, which also looks after 3 Newbridge Square and currently leases 2 Newbridge Square to Zurich.

Mr Knowles said: “He’s made me very proud!

“Before, the building was tired, and so the idea was to transform it into a best-in-class base for businesses.

“It’s far exceeded my expectations, I’m blown away, it’s super exciting, and it’s great for the area.

“Swindon is going through a big transformation. It’s in a great location and has a lot of hardworking people, we just have to invest in offices like this.

“We will attract really good tenants here – I can’t tell you who yet, but wow!”

Swindon Advertiser: The new entrance to One Newbridge SquareThe new entrance to One Newbridge Square (Image: Newsquest)

Though no contracts have yet been signed, the FI REM team reportedly received a lot of interest from potential tenants while the big revamp was underway.

Altogether, the building boasts a total of 100,000 sq ft of office space, with flexible floorplates available up to 24,000 sq ft. Sustainability has been a key focus, with LED lighting, rooftop solar panels, parking spaces for electric vehicles, and reused material from the previous layout helping with the aim of attaining an A rating for BREAM.

The exterior has been painted black and the interior includes a business lounge and three private meeting rooms that all tenants can use on the ground floor, and vast newly-floored spaces on the three floors above that can be sectioned off depending on how much room each tenant requires.

Team member Owen Lever said: “It’s incredible, it looks just like the CGI images from the plans, I’m very impressed by what they’ve done.

“We can cater for any requirements and this work ensures the building will be of a high standard for the next 20 or 30 years.”

Nearby, Fleming Way is being redeveloped into a public transport hub, higher floors in the old Debenhams building will be filled with high-end apartments, and Zurich has settled into its own purpose-built Unity Place offices next to Newbridge Square.