Six-screen cinema for Swindon college site

Artist's impression of new cinema - image courtesy Ashfield Land
Image caption The target date for the centre opening is 2014

A deal to build a six-screen cinema on the site of a derelict college in the centre of Swindon has been agreed.

The £50m complex, which will be called Regents Circus, will also have a supermarket and eight restaurants.

A spokesman for Ashfield Land, which acquired the former Swindon College site in 2006, said it hoped it would be a catalyst to regenerate the area.

He said the recession meant the original plans had to be revised and a new planning application made.

'Ball and chain'

Derek Aldridge, director of the nearby Wyvern Theatre, said he believed the new development would get more people into Swindon.

He said he did not think the Cineworld multiplex would affect his business.

"We offer two completely different things. If you go to see a film - which is a big exciting event in its own right - you know the people in the next town are watching it and are in a city 200 miles away too.

"Theatre will always provide something different but what we do need to do is to encourage people to come out in the evenings."

Ashfield Land said the demolition work would start soon and hopefully be completed by the summer.

The spokesman added: "Because it is in a residential area we have to dismantle the building carefully so we can't just use a ball and chain or press a button and blow it up."

The target date for the centre opening is 2014.

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