Leading development company Ashfield Land’s exciting £50 million plans to regenerate part of Swindon town centre have taken a major step forward, it was announced today.
The Bristol-based property company has now acquired the 50% of Regent Circus Ltd that had been held by joint venture partner Parkridge Retail Ltd, which went into liquidation in August.
Ashfield Land managing director Andrew Fisher today revealed that negotiations with liquidator PWC had been successfully concluded and the company would now press ahead with the stalled scheme. Ashfield Land now owns 100% of Regent Circus Ltd.
The Regent Circus scheme has received detailed planning permission from Swindon Borough Council. The plans include a 52,000 sq ft Morrison’s superstore, eight restaurants and bars, a 30,000 sq ft six-screen cinema, 450-space car park, and converting the former Victorian technical college into offices. Ask is the first national restaurant chain to lease a unit.
Mr Fisher added: “We have successfully negotiated with the liquidators PWC to acquire the 50% share of the development company held by our former joint venture partners.
“This is excellent news because it ends any uncertainty associated with the Regent Circus scheme and means we can now press ahead with the regeneration of a key area of Swindon town centre.
“We are of course very pleased that Morrison’s has committed to anchor the scheme, while we confidently expect to be able to announce the operators of the multi-screen cinema shortly. We also have a great deal of interest from national restaurant chains. To have so many enquiries from major retailers demonstrates how attractive the Regent Circus development is and the appeal of a rejuvenated town centre in Swindon.”
The Regent Circus redevelopment proposals were influenced by the New Swindon Regeneration Framework, The Promenade master plan and the site master plan. Ashfield Land acquired the freehold in 2006 which facilitated Swindon College’s relocation to a new £17 million campus. It will fund the development with a mixture of debt and equity. Work on demolishing the existing college buildings is expected to begin before the end of the year.
Ashfield Land is a property development company with a proven pedigree. Its success, underpinned by significant equity resources, enables it to pursue fresh opportunities irrespective of the current economic turbulence. With a portfolio valued in excess of £250m across all sectors, Ashfield Land has established positive and lasting relationships based on trust. It has offices in Bristol, Glasgow and Birmingham and will consider acquiring sites and properties throughout the UK in all sectors. For more information visit www.ashfieldland.co.uk.