A TOWN centre eyesore is still no closer to being demolished, despite promises the building would come down this summer.

The old college site in Regent Circus is likely to be standing next year, according to the man in charge of regenerating Swindon.

The site, which is earmarked to house a supermarket, cinema and restaurants, will be part of a planned pedestrianisation of Regent Circus, which would see traffic directed along only one side of Princes Street.

Peter James, the chief executive of the New Swindon Company, said everyone in Swindon was desperate to see the back of the former Swindon College building, which has been empty for the past three years.

He said: “There is still a possibility it could come down this year but it’s unlikely. There’s not a lot we can do. We are waiting on the developers. They are not going to demolish the site until everything is signed because, essentially, that’s all they have over the council.

“Our concern is that we have the best possible development for that site and one that is the right one going forward.

“But it is disappointing to us and to people in Swindon that the building can’t come down. It is an eyesore.”

Andrew Fisher, the director of Ashfield Land, said he was still hoping to demolish the building in 2009 but that discussions were ongoing.

He said: “I can’t tell you exactly when it is going to come down because we are still in the final stages of getting an agreement with the supermarket.

“Our ambition is certainly to start this year but I can’t guarantee that.

“We can’t demolish anything until that deal is done because we have an agreement with the council on keeping the car park open.”

Mr Fisher said negotiations over exactly what would go on the site were still ongoing but it seems unlikely that plans for a 250-flat residential skyscraper will go ahead.

He said: “We are in discussions with the council about that – it is certainly a big issue. We have been talking about getting rid of the residential element. It doesn’t work at that location and in the current climate.”

A cinema is already signed up to the development and it is hoped that restaurants and bars will be attracted to the site.

Mr James said: “There’s a lot that can be done with Regent Circus to turn it into a first class spot for people to relax and go out. That’s what I want, that’s what people in Swindon want and that’s the businesses want as well.

“I was talking to the owners of Rudi’s and they are desperate for more competition in the town. That’s what makes for a good town centre.”

But one thing Mr James is keen to see develop this year is a name for the site.

He said: “I am aware that there is some confusion over which Regent is which – with Regent Circus, Regent Street and Regent Place, so I have been bugging the developers to come up with a unique name for the site.”