Town centre regeneration

What are the challenges facing the town centre?

Town centres across the UK are having to respond to some complex and interacting trends: changes in the retail industry and people’s shopping habits, changes in use of office space and in consumer spending power. Read more about these challenges.

The coronavirus pandemic accelerated pre-existing trends (such as moves towards online shopping) and prompted new behaviours (such as more home working). Meanwhile a period of high inflation and rising living costs will impact on town centres and the wider economy: dampening consumer demand and footfall, whilst reducing business confidence in making investment decisions. 

Despite these economic headwinds, the Council is working with partners across the private, public and voluntary sectors to do everything it can to help the town centre adapt and move forward. Most of the land and buildings in the town centre (including almost 1,000,000 sq ft of retail space) are owned by many different commercial organisations. This means how they are used is based on the decisions of landowners, developers, investors and retailers. 

The private sector invests in areas where the evidence indicates there is sufficient demand to make a return from new shops, offices, houses and amenities. It is clear that the town centre will need to diversify  beyond its traditional retail offer as more people choose to shop online and out of town. That will see businesses bringing forward new uses for land and buildings, creating new homes and venues where people can socialise and enjoy experiences.

The new market at Wharf Green is an example of the more experiential offer that will enable the Town Centre to move forward.

Recent examples of new private sector investments in Swindon town centre include: 

  • £17 million investment in a 194-bedroom hotel and restaurant on the former Aspen House site on Regent Street close to the Town Hall
  • New £1.5 million entertainment venue at Regent Circus
  • Work underway to convert former office space on Station Road into 232 flats and Kingsbridge Point on Princes Street into 42 flats 
  • Three new tenants moving into Swindon town centre offices at 3 Newbridge Square
  • Conversion of the floors above the former site of the William Wallace Hunter furnishing shop on Regent Street and the building next door into 12 flats
Exterior photograph of Cuetopia in Swindon

Cuetopia on Bridge Street

Exterior photograph of Boom Battle Bar in Swindon

Boom Battle Bar at Regent Circus

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