Colas chosen to deliver major Swindon regeneration scheme

By Nick Batten on 22 March, 2022

A £33m regeneration project, which will act as a catalyst for future investment in Swindon town centre, is a step closer to taking off following the appointment of the contractor for the scheme.

Colas, which delivered the Birmingham Airport runway extension as well as many other high-profile infrastructure projects, will begin work on a new bus interchange and gateway into the town centre later this year.

The Fleming Way Bus Boulevard scheme has been developed by Swindon Borough Council and will see Fleming Way completely transformed to accommodate all bus services in the town. It will include a new public open space on the north side with a green central spine to increase biodiversity.

The new facility will replace the ageing bus station and will also feature much-improved pedestrian and cycle routes, while the removal of the current Fleming Way underpass will create an attractive and welcoming route from the train station into the town centre.

The Council submitted a robust business case to the Government in order to obtain £25m in funding from the Future High Streets Fund.

The scheme is expected to stimulate further investment in the town centre along Fleming Way – and potentially Station Road, Fleet Street and Bridge Street – by increasing land values by as much as £34m and unlocking new residential development at the adjacent Kimmerfields site.

Assessments have also shown the scheme will substantially increase Swindon’s economic productivity by £28.7m in the first 20 years through enhancing the bus and cycling infrastructure in the town centre.

Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) contributed £3m to progress the design of the scheme together with the necessary site investigations and utility diversions. The Council’s Cabinet also approved a contribution of £5m in capital funding to the project.

The Council’s bid was backed by major landowners and transport operators, while one of the town’s major employers, Zurich, cited the improvements as a key consideration when opting to build its new headquarters on land adjacent to Fleming Way.

Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Transport and Planning, said, “This scheme is so important for the town centre because it will help to unlock wider regeneration.

“In recent times, the low land values in this part of town have made it less attractive to investors and developers, so we are using government funding to improve the local area and make it a place they want to put in their money.

“We are effectively giving the rejuvenation of the town centre a kick-start, helping us bounce back strongly from the shift to online retail and the effects of the pandemic.

He added, “I’m delighted we have appointed a proven contractor in Colas to deliver this scheme for us.”

The Fleming Way Bus Boulevard forms part of more than £100m of council-led investment in the town centre over the next four years.

Pictured above: An artist’s impression of the Fleming Way Bus Boulevard