Muse Developments signs up for Union Square

November 27, 2008

Swindon’s regeneration has taken another significant step forward today ­with the signing of a multi-million pound property deal­ which will ­ breathe new life into the town centre.  

Muse Developments has ­signed a formal Development Agreement to deliver Union Square, a £350m ­mixed-use development­, on the site between the railway station and the town centre.   

Union Square will be a flagship regeneration project for the town centre and provide up to 160,000 sq m of high quality new offices and new homes.  It will also help to rejuvenate the town’s leisure opportunities, creating a safe and vibrant family friendly area throughout the day and into early evening.

As well as delivering new buildings, Union Square will include a range of new public realm and facilities to improve local people and visitor’s experience of Swindon. These include: 

·       carefully planned traffic management, making walking and cycling safer and more enjoyable

·       convenient links between Union Square, the railway station and the town centre shopping area.

·       provision of walkable streets and attractive new open public spaces

·       a new and improved bus interchange

·       a new facility for the Primary Care Trust

·       high quality car parking in a new multi – storey car park

Following the recent announcement of plans by Modus Properties to develop Regent Place, a £215 million retail led scheme, Swindon is clearly bucking the current trend of economic gloom. Not only does this reflect the town’s outstanding location, but also its strong economic performance.   Together, these two developments represent more than half a billion pounds of investment towards the regeneration of Swindon.

Cllr Phil Young, Lead Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, Swindon Borough Council said: “The regeneration of Swindon is truly underway.   The plans for Union Square are extremely exciting and will go a long way to providing Swindon with the town centre that it deserves.  To deliver such a significant regeneration project while the country as a whole is facing a recession is a major achievement for all involved.  At the same time, the fact that a company like Muse is willing to invest in Swindon tells you a lot about the town and the outstanding opportunities that we have open to us.”

Peter James, chief executive of The New Swindon Company, said: “We are delighted to announce the completion of a Development Agreement with Muse and the beginning of such a significant regeneration project.  Swindon is rising above the current economic gloom – the town has absolutely massive potential and this flagship project will help us to reach it.“

Doug Finlay of Muse commented: “This is a very significant development for Swindon and for Muse. Regeneration on the scale of Union Square is an opportunity to bring major improvements to the town centre and will help improve the perception of Swindon.    It is an economically important town and as such should have a vibrant legible town centre with walkable streets, providing new opportunities for business and local people.”

Ian Piper, director of Sustainable Communities at the South West RDA, said: “Having invested £12 million to help piece together the Union Square site from a range of ownerships the Agency is delighted that the regeneration of this important area can now begin. These investments come at just the right time in the current difficult economic climate to kick-start the town’s regeneration. This will help to unlock Swindon’s business potential.”

In commenting further on the agreements David Warburton, area rirector for English Partnerships said: “The signing of this Development Agreement is fantastic news for Swindon.  Revitalising the town centre will provide the high quality sustained regeneration needed to bring the town centre facilities into line with Swindon’s strong economic performance and bring greater benefits to the community.”

Cllr Roderick Bluh, Leader of Swindon Borough Council also welcomed the news: “This is the news we have been waiting for, a fantastic way to end 2008. I thank everyone who has been involved in making this a reality at such a difficult time economically.”

Union Square forms part of The New Swindon Company’s wider regeneration of the town centre, which aims to deliver over one billion pounds of investment in six regeneration zones.  Union square is the largest regeneration zone.  

Today’s agreement has been made possible through extensive work by all the organisations involved in the project, who are Swindon Borough Council, English Partnerships and South West of England Regional Development Agency, along with Muse Developments,  co-ordinated by The New Swindon Company.

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