Next stage of Swindon regeneration unveiled
The next stage of the regeneration of Swindon Town Centre was unveiled yesterday (Wednesday), with major changes on the cards for Fleming Way, the road that currently splits the business district in two.
Following the completion of the Whalebridge car park last year, the second phase will see Fleming Way lowered to the same level as the rest of the town centre, creating a ‘linear park’ connecting the business district and the station to the north with the retailers and eating/dining facilities in the heart of the shopping area.
Work is due to start in 2016, when Fleming Way will be closed to traffic other than pedestrians, buses and cycles.
Planners say the scheme will create “an extended town centre where people can move freely and easily between work, retail and social areas.”
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 re-developed as part of the new Kimmerfields central business district, with office space for 3,500 workers.
Ian Piper, chief executive of Forward Swindon, which is leading the regeneration programme on behalf of Swindon Borough Council, said: “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.”
The project is part of a £350 million regeneration programme for the town. This is the latest stage in that process and aims to connect business and social areas into a single, accessible setting with landscaping and improved amenities.
Doug Finlay of Muse, the developers undertaking the regeneration programme, said: “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.”