IT is all systems go for a new flagship retail outlet, which developers believe will rejuvenate Swindon town centre in a recession-bucking multi-million pound deal.

Costs alone for the site are believed to be £25m, and the welcome news comes just a day after it was revealed that the £215m scheme at Regent Place, which was likely to include a massive Debenhams store, has been put on hold.

This latest initiative will see the redevelopment of the existing BHS store by providing 80,000 sq ft of new retail floor space on two floors, with six unit entrances fronting onto The Parade. Work is set to begin by January next year.

Large display windows will replace the current entrance to the BHS store off The Parade, with the facade offering a contemporary style with large area glazing, metal and stone cladding.

Shearer Property Group and UK Commercial Property Trust, managed by Ignis Asset Management, received the green light from Swindon Council to develop a prominent site in the central prime area of Swindon.

This week the council gave planning permission for the demolition of the existing store and the construction of a new replacement BHS store of 45,000 sq ft.

Topshop are contracted to take the corner unit of 10,000 sq ft and terms have been agreed with River Island for a similar size store, leaving only four units available - these will go to the market at the start of next year.

Coun Rex Barnett (Con, Haydon Wick), who is on the council’s planning committee, described the move as hugely encouraging.

“It’s going to tidy up an already tired looking building,” he said. “It’s great news for Swindon. All sides have come on board to provide the town with useful shops in a good looking building.”

Servicing will be at the rear of the units, accessed as the existing set-up via Fleet Street and John Street.

The service yard will allow for the parking and manoeuvring for HGV’s and delivery vehicles.

Guy Shearer of Shearer Property Group, said: “In these very difficult times it is great to be able to announce some good news on the development front.

“Now the council have decided to support our scheme and grant consent, we can get on with the redevelopment.

“Swindon has not seen any significant development in the town centre for many years, so we are delighted to have signed up BHS and Topshop in what will become the prime position in the town.”

Robert Boag of Ignis Asset Management, said: “While clearly the market was much healthier when the project was instigated, the agreements with BHS and Topshop will improve the schemes letting prospects and with that the future performance of The Parade.”

The completion of the site will be at the end of next year, with retailers able to start trading by Spring 2011.