A HATED carbuncle in the centre of Swindon may finally have its days numbered.

The Old College building in Regent Circus could be torn down as soon as April, a meeting of Swindon council’s ecomomics committee was told last night.

Garry Perkins (Cons, Shaw and Nine Elms), in charge of regeneration, told the meeting that the final agreement with developer Ashfield Land is now within their grasp.

He said: “We’ve been in discussions with the developer for the last few weeks.

“If that goes through, we’ll start removing the college from Swindon.

“Hopefully it’ll be going ahead by April.”

But it’s been a long time coming.

Committee chairman Nick Martin (Cons., Shaw and Nine Elms) told The Adver: “It can’t come soon enough.

“I hope and pray we have an agreement.

“I’d take my own sledgehammer to the demolition.”

Former leader Mike Bawden (Con, Old Town and Lawn) said: “We were talking about it when I stepped down.

“Now five years later, we’re still talking about it!

“It’s no good saying: it’s all the economy. Until two or three years ago, the economy was going like a rocket.”

He said the town has a “two year window” to get its act together.

“I get more and more frustrated walking around the town centre,” he said.

“I feel we just don’t really know what to do with it.”

Once it is bulldozed, the site will be turned into a leisure complex by Ashfield Land.

Occupiers are already signed up to five out of nine restaurant spaces, and a cinema and supermarket are also earmarked to move in.

The last hurdle standing in the way of the demolition is a Section 106 agreement.

It lays out the amount the developer must pay the council before work begins.

Coun Perkins said planners are on the cusp of approving the sum, believed to be five figures, and said the scheme should be given formal go-ahead by the council within around two months.