THE Brunel Centre is to be given a £1.5m facelift.

A scheme to fit a striking new canopy has been unveiled, and designers promise it will play a major role in the regeneration of the town centre.

Work has now started to replace the ageing canopy around the centre.

It is being replaced by a modern glass and cantilever steel structure.

The work is due to finish just before the Christmas shopping rush.

Nick Beaumont-Jones, director of the Brunel Centre, said the new centre would be a real eye-catcher.

He said: “It’s an exciting project and I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished product.

“It’s going to have a big impact. It will be a vast improvement on what we have at the moment and I think shoppers are going to be impressed.

“It’s going to transform the town centre.”

Mr Beaumont-Jones was keen to reassure shoppers that they would not be inconvenienced by the work.

He said: “All the work is being done overnight, so only there will only be a small amount of disruption to late-night revellers.

“But the worst of that is already passed. During the daytime I doubt shoppers will notice there is any work going on unless they are looking for it.”

It is due to be finished by the end of November but Nick warned that the work be at the mercy of the elements.

He said: “We have had some hiccups, mainly due to the weather, but we hope to be finished on time.”

During the replacement work the Jubilee Clock at the crossroads of Regent Street and Canal Walk will be out of action.

InSwindon chief executive Mark Ross said: “Removal of the old canopy will be a very careful operation and it will first be necessary to remove power supplies to the clock, which presently runs from canopy uprights.

“For safety reasons the cables have to be disconnected before any work can take place.”

The clock, which was unveiled by the Duke of Edinburgh in 2003, will be switched off for approximately six weeks.