The next stage in the redevelopment of Swindon Town Centre has been announced.
As part of the £350 million regeneration plan, major changes are to be made to Fleming Way which currently divides the business district in two.
The plan is to create an extended town centre where people can move freely and easily between work, retail and social areas. The current space is to be redesigned and remodelled, with the elevated section of the roadway being lowered to pedestrian level.
Plans also reveal the subway is to disappear and the whole area will become a single, shared , modern space. The idea is to connect the business district and the station to the north with the retailers and eating/dining facilities in the heart of the shopping area.
Once the changes to Fleming Way have been completed, a new bus exchange is planned at its western end, with the existing bus station being redeveloped as part of the new Kimmerfields central business district.
Forward Swindon is leading the regeneration programme on behalf of Swindon Borough Council. Chief Executive of Forward Swindon Ian Piper commented: “The town centre is split in two by Fleming Way, making access to shopping and social facilities difficult for workers and visitors. By removing this physical barrier, we will make Swindon town centre a more vibrant and attractive place to work and to visit.”
Work is due to start in 2016 when Fleming Way will be closed to traffic other than pedestrians, buses and cycles. Forward Swindon plan to host several face-to-face meetings with businesses and other organisations who are likely to be affected by the work, ensuring everyone has what they need in good time to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum.
Garry Perkins, Swindon Borough Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Regeneration and Culture, commented: “Thriving town centres boost the local economy and increase the region’s prosperity. This project will help to realise our vision for Swindon as an attractive place to live and work in today’s 21st century world.”
Doug Finlay of Muse, the developers undertaking the regeneration programme, noted: “Creating an easily accessible, vibrant town centre is a vital part of Swindon’s future prosperity. Joining the two halves of the town centre, while at the same time extending the central business district, will be a major step towards the realisation of that goal.”