Work is to start in May of the £50m retail and leisure scheme development to transform the former Swindon College site at Regent Circus.
The scheme will include a 52,000 sq ft Morrisons superstore, eight restaurants and bars, a six-screen digital Cineworld multiplex cinema and a 450-space car park. National restaurant chains Ask, Nando’s and Prezzo are already signed up and developers Ashfield Land say there is strong interest in the remaining units.
Construction contractors ISG will start work on site in May with completion in autumn 2014, Ashfield Land managing director Andrew Fisher said. The scheme will create several hundred jobs.
“I can confirm that demolition and site clearance is now complete and the construction of our Regent Circus mixed use development will get underway in May, marking the beginning of the complete transformation of this part of Swindon town centre,” said Mr Fisher.
“We are excited at the prospect of seeing the scheme begin to take shape this year and we envisage that it will be completed and open before the end of 2014. Despite the tough economic climate that still prevails we have always been determined to deliver on our promise to provide Swindon with a first class retail and leisure destination.
“With the support of major companies such as Morrisons and Cineworld our significant investment will result in the regeneration of what was a dilapidated area of the town centre and promises to create hundreds of jobs for local people.”
Morrisons development executive David Bevan said: “It is great news that the construction of our new store at Regent Circus is about to begin. Combined with the additional facilities, it will create a wonderful new shopping and leisure destination for the people of Swindon to enjoy. We are looking forward to being able to open the store next year.”
Cineworld CEO Steve Weiner added: “We are very excited to be opening a second cinema in Swindon as part of the Regent Circus regeneration scheme. Cineworld Swindon Regent Circus, which is due to open in 2014, will host 814 seats across six screens, all of which will be digital to offer customers the highest quality viewing experience.
“We will screen a range of films from the latest blockbusters to international films as well as live music, theatre and sport to cater to the needs of cinema goers in Swindon and the surrounding area. Congratulations to Ashfield Land for their efforts in pulling this fantastic project together.”
Restaurant chain Ask is part of the Gondola Group. Marc Ward, group head of acquisitions, said: ““The improvement of the leisure offer in central Swindon has been long awaited. We are delighted to be represented in this important development.
Ashfield Land acquired the freehold of the site in 2006 which facilitated Swindon College’s relocation to a new £17 million campus. Agents acting on behalf of Ashfield Land on the Regent Circus development are R&C Retail Property Consultants and Jones Lang LaSalle.
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