“It’s such a great town centre…!”

🤳🏽 …the message I sent to a friend and local champion for the place of my first #highstreet out & about visit of 2024.

And it is in many ways, as the set of images below shows – just a sample of those I could’ve used to illustrate its positives.

🛍️ New openings, brand and #indie, #retail, #hospitality, services and third sector, since my previous visit.

🎨 Stunning new #streetart to add to an already strong collection.

+ Investment in hotel, office, access…

…and around the town centre and on its fringes history, heritage and always a sense of a strong community keen to play its part.

And yet some of those who read to the end and see which town I’m talking about will have a different perspective, as the clearly upset resident who strolled up to talk to me that day had.

But that’s the opportunity. This town feels like a perfect example of how the ‘alternative uses’ we often list here – arts & crafts, creative, culture, community, leisure, education, health & wellbeing – can be key to its ‘next steps’.

🔑 Same for the always crucial place partnership, bringing #property agents, landlords, businesses, community & council together to understand the vacancy backstory and barriers and focus on how they’re best overcome.

Lots to do #placemaking, but…

So here’s to: Swindon town centre.

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