The Brunel Shopping Centre, in Swindon Town Centre, has been formally taken out of receivership status.
The centre’s asset and property management company, FI Real Estate Management (FIREM), together with its backers, have refinanced the centre’s loan, which went into default in late 2011 when property values across the UK fell significantly.
FIREM have been at the helm of the centre since being appointed as Receiver and Asset Manager in 2012 and have been instrumental in taking The Brunel through a strategic recovery plan which has included a significant investment in marketing the centre.
FIREM’s Managing Director Tim Knowles said that the acquisition of the loan had been a logical course, given his company’s knowledge and experience of managing the centre and its tenants. He added: “As importantly, we want to see all the new developments we have in the pipeline progress and to bring The Brunel back to a poll position in Swindon’s retail and leisure attractions. We can also confirm our confidence in The Brunel’s future success and our commitment to investing in it and making it a vibrant part of Swindon’s retail and leisure attractions.
“We see ourselves as a strong private sector partner to Swindon Borough Council, Forward Swindon, InSwindon (the BID) and to the wider business and local community and we want to work with local people for the good of the town.”
Kevin Gwilliam, the centre’s General Manager, welcomed the development. Kevin said: “This is great news, not only for The Brunel, but this is a significant vote of confidence for Swindon town centre too. It is business as usual for me and my team in centre management. The team have worked with FIREM for more than four years now so it’s great news that we will be continuing to work with the same people in the future.
“Situated at the heart of Swindon Town Centre, The Brunel shopping centre is an important asset for the town and I look forward to continuing to work closely with Swindon Borough Council, local community groups and the business community.”
In tandem with the centre’s development of a food hub FIREM are also bringing a new 15,000 sq ft gym and 10,000 sq ft soft play area for children to The Brunel. Situated in The Arcade side of the Centre, near to House of Fraser, this area will provide a new amenity and attraction to the shopping centre and the town centre.
Pictured above: Kevin Gwilliam, The Brunel Shopping Centre’s General Manager