SWINDON’s town centre regeneration is going back to the drawing board after one of the developers went into administration.

The Regent Place scheme, on the site of the Granville Street car park, is on hold after Modus Ventures, the parent company of developers Modus (Swindon) went into administration.

The £215m development with Modus (Swindon) still stands, but the developer is likely to go the same way as its parent company when a winding-up petition finally reaches the courts. Now Swindon Council and the New Swindon Company are taking the opportunity to re-evaluate the scheme – which could move away from big-name shopping developments to feature smaller, independent traders, as well as restaurants and a supermarket.

Peter James, chief executive of the New Swindon Company, said: “We will be going back to the drawing board to a degree but it may not necessarily hold the development up.

“The original scheme involved compulsory purchase orders of £40m on properties around the site, which would have taken 18 months to two years to carry out.

“The scheme that we are possibly thinking about may not require the acquisition of properties outside our control. The council already owns Iceland and the car park.

“We are re-looking at the proposal because the market is so bad. To put together a 50-unit scheme just does not make sense in the current climate because there are not 50 retailers out there coming to Swindon.

“We are not trying to compete with Cribbs Causeway or The Oracle. We need to concentrate on making Swindon special and attracting people to the centre. We are looking at bringing more restaurants into the town centre.

“Maybe there’s room for food retailers to come into the town centre. If there was a big supermarket interested maybe they could go onto the Granville Street car park site. It would be something to attract people in and then there could be restaurants attached to it.”

Coun Phil Young, the council’s lead member for regeneration said: “The Modus scheme was the right one for the time but we now have to look at how the market has changed and see how our regeneration fits into that.

“We want to build a centre for the town rather simply a town centre.

“It’s a great opportunity to reflect on what will bring people to Swindon, considering there are already two huge shopping developments at Bristol and Reading.

“I think our reputation for putting on music is growing so perhaps we could look into something in the town centre. We have more and more happening at the Arts Centre, but that’s not the biggest building. We could have more green spaces – create an atmosphere that attracts people to the centre.

“We want to look at some consultation with the community to find out what they want to see there.”