A pharmacist hopes to open in Old Town following the closure of two pharmacies in the area.

The manager of HG Hanks has applied to NHS England to obtain a pharmacy licence that would allow the business to replace the former Rowlands inside the Co-op supermarket on High Street and stay open until 7.30pm on weekdays.

HG Hanks already operates four pharmacies around the town, including Hawthorn Pharmacy in Gorse Hill which has been in business for 35 years.

This new application comes after Boots made the controversial decision to close its Wood Street branch despite concerns being raised about it being too difficult for elderly and vulnerable customers to reach similar services at the bottom of the steep Victoria Hill.

Petitions launched to save the site fell on deaf ears as the axe fell on February 9, 2024, mere months after Rowlands Pharmacy closed on July 31, 2023.

The Wood Street building went up for sale in January.

It is hoped that the new pharmacy will be more accessible due to its nearby bus stop, disabled access, parking spaces, and wide walkways.

The local authority and Swindon and Wiltshire LPC have reportedly offered positive comments in support of Mr Patel's application following South Swindon's then-MP Sir Robert Buckland writing a letter praising the pharmacist's efforts in January.

A further show of support could help to get the application approved.

Neighbours are being encouraged to write to oldtownpharmacyswindon@gmail.com with their own supportive comments and explanations of how the lack of a pharmacy in Old Town has affected them.

Sir Robert said in a second letter sent earlier this month: "I write in strong support of Mr Patel’s application to open a new pharmacy in the Coop.

"The closure of both pharmacies has left a significant gap in pharmaceutical services in Old Town.

"It is anticipated that around 7,500 local residents are likely to access the pharmaceutical services in the vicinity of the proposed location.

"In conclusion, I remain strongly supportive of this application, from a skilled and well-established local provider, which will provide essential pharmaceutical services to thousands of local residents here in Swindon South."

Sir Robert Buckland is the Conservative candidate for South Swindon at the July 4 General Election, facing Labour Party representative Heidi Alexander, Rod Hebden from the Green Party, Liberal Democrat Matt McCabe, Reform UK's Catherine Kosidowski, and independent Martin Costello,