LAND earmarked for Swindon’s town centre regeneration could in the meantime be used for leisure facilities, green space or children’s playgrounds.

This is the aim of £140,000 scheme by Swindon Council to improve the image of the town centre while the slow process of regeneration takes shape.

Areas such as that set aside for the Union Square development, which includes the site of the former police station off Fleming Way and the old bus station, will take years to get off the ground and are more than a decade from completion.

So the council has decided to use the sites more constructively, and will be seeking the advice of Adver readers to decide what to do with the space.

Coun Nick Martin, lead member, for property, leisure and recreation, said: “This is about using funds from developers to make the most of what we have in the town centre.

“The fact is that a lot of this land is going to be sitting there doing nothing for a number of years to come, so why not do something with it. We could have astro-turf rolled out there for five-a-side pitches, which in the future could be lifted up and moved somewhere else.

“That way we are using the area and creating a good image of the town centre for people passing through and for the residents, we are providing facilities and we are doing something for the long term.

“At the moment we are working with the New Swindon Company to negotiate with landowners, in the areas where we don’t own the land, to get an agreement in principle.

“We will then be putting it forward for consultation.

“We want to hear what ideas people have. I’m sure readers of the Advertiser will have a lot of suggestions.

“Maybe people will want a temporary cricket pitch, maybe a children’s play area.

“We could have moveable skate ramps – people very rarely consider what teens want, but if we give them a decent facility perhaps then they wouldn’t be hanging about in toddler’s play parks at night.”

Other ideas included areas specifically designed for town centre workers to eat their lunch, or shoppers to sit for a rest.

Quick growing trees and flowering pots and plants specifically designed for quick growing could be used.

Coun Martin said: “I really hope to get it initiated this year. First we have to look at consultation with the owners, then with the public. We are probably looking at some time in the autumn for that.”