Swindon's successful bid for £25m sees 'bus boulevard' plans move step forward
Swindon Borough Council has been successful in its bid for £25 million government funding and now plans to press ahead with its transformation of the town centre.
As part of the Government's Future High Streets Fund, the town has been awarded the largest amount than any other part of the country.
The multi-million pound injection will go towards building a 'bus boulevard', which would see Fleming Way closed to all cars except buses.
Under these plans the existing bus station will be demolished, making way for the construction of new homes and offices in the town centre.
Responding to the announcement, Swindon MPs Robert Buckland and Justin Tomlinson said: “We are both delighted that after spending many months championing Swindon’s cause alongside the Conservative led Borough Council who helped prepare this bid, Swindon has been awarded £25 million - the highest amount to be awarded in the country.
“Our high Streets are a key part of our local communities and local economies. They create jobs, boost the local economy and help small businesses thrive.
“We recognise that changing consumer behaviour and the rise of online shopping presents a significant challenge to our town centre and we are glad that the Conservative Government is taking action to help it evolve.
“This money will be used to modernise our town centre, ensuring that it is fit for the future. This will include a much-needed improved public transport hub and improved cycle and pedestrian routes.”
David Renard, leader of Swindon Council, thanked Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick for the funding and promised to "commence work ASAP".
Meanwhile Steve Reed MP, Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: “While any funding is welcome, we must not forget the damage the Conservatives have done to our high streets over the past decade."
Mr Reed continued that businesses on the region's high streets "still face a very uncertain future."
Swindon wasn't the only local council to get a late Christmas present from the Government.
Also getting a share of the fund are:
Plymouth City Centre – £12,046,873
Barnstaple, North Devon – £6,548,876
Newton Abbot, Teignbridge – £9,199,364
Paignton, Torbay – £13,363,248
Kingswood, South Gloucestershire – £12,555,464
Salisbury City Centre – £9,355,731
Penzance, Cornwall – £10,403, 112
Trowbridge, Wiltshire – £16,347,056
Yeovil – £9,756,897
Taunton, Somerset – £13,962,981