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How the Locarno redevelopment will look

Swindon to pilot economic growth scheme

Swindon has been named as one of five areas to pilot a new public-private partnership to get infrastructure projects off the ground.

As part of the new Local Infrastructure Demonstrator Partnership, private sector professionals will work alongside government partners to identify and overcome problems which have been hindering infrastructure projects, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced this week. 

The specialist support offered through the partnership should lead to each project moving forward more quickly than would have been the case without support. 

The private sector led teams comprise representatives from the Civil Engineering Contractors Association and the Royal Town Planning Institute and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, with other senior public and private sector partners also making significant contributions.

The Construction Industry Training Board is providing funding through its Growth Fund.

Business minister Michael Fallon said:
“Making improvements to local infrastructure and unblocking new developments are vital for growth, and having free industry advice and support on hand can help get projects off the ground.

“By bringing together the relevant experts face-to-face with the parties involved, solutions can often be found to problems and costly delays avoided. I would like to thank the private sector experts who are working on the projects on a pro bono basis.”

Phil Young, director of business investment at Forward Swindon said: “The partnership has supported Swindon Borough Council in bringing real clarity to its plans for growth.

“We are looking forward to working further with BIS and those involved to develop our plans and bring them to fruition delivering significant economic growth in Swindon. 

“In particular we are looking at ways to release development land along the A420, to enable economic growth in Swindon.”

Meanwhile, a draft plan for the redevelopment of Swindon’s iconic Corn Exchange building has been approved by planners.

A working group including a developer, architects, planners and heritage experts, was set up last year by Forward Swindon, on behalf of Swindon Borough Council, to collaborate together and create a viable mixed use scheme for the building, which is commonly known as the Locarno. 

The Old Town building was left derelict after a fire in 2004. The proposals will now go to public consultation for eight weeks.