There are calls for the empty Morrisons unit at Regent Circus to become a supermarket again.
With independent businesses and exciting new chains setting up next door, there seems to be a resurgence in the downtown shopping and entertainment complex that not so long ago seemed to have a bleak future.
But its biggest challenge remains in 2022 – filling the space occupied by Morrisons until it closes its doors just over two years ago.
With no immediate fix on the horizon, we asked Adv readers what they would like to see Morrisons replaced.
And many were in favor of maintaining the status quo because of its convenience for people who live in and around the city center and cannot drive – whether that means it has reopened as Morrisons or has been taken over by another chain such as Sainsbury’s or Aldi.
Sue Hurley said, “They should never have closed this store. It was perfect for everyone.
Joanne Reeves added, “Any food store.
“Lots of people who don’t drive and old people who need a supermarket in town.”
Others wanted a similar redevelopment to the Boom Battle Bar that brought ax throwing and other games to Regent Circus last year – moving away from retail to leisure and entertainment.
Suggestions in this direction included a bowling alley with pool tables like the Tenpin in Shaw Ridge, an entertainment center similar to the new Gravity venue in South London, a large children’s game, a roller-coaster nightclub or a arcade.
Sarah Skinner said: “A Superbowl like West Swindon – bowling and pool etc.
Richard Toomey wanted to see something bigger: “An entertainment hub, kind of like Gravity, the one in London, or a small mall – at least give it some use. ”
Some original suggestions included a hub for all banks, indoor clay pigeon shooting, and a casino.
But there doesn’t seem to be a quick fix as the former city center councilor says Morrisons has a 12-year lease for the property – which sees the supermarket giant paying owner Aberdeen £ 1million a year. Standard.
After a number of empty units were filled with new businesses like Boom Battle Bar and Funky Grilla and Dough and Co restaurants, former cabinet member of Downtown City Councilor Dale Heenan wrote to Morrisons in October to encourage him to give up the lease.
In the letter to Morrisons CEO David Potts, he wrote: “The fear of many is that this building will remain empty and potentially deteriorate the area for decades to come.
“If no termination clause is available, please find a way for Morrisons to either relinquish the lease or work with other businesses and the community and sublet; if not to reduce the costs and responsibilities of the company, at least to put the empty building back into service for the good of the city.
A spokesperson for the Morrisons told Advers the company was unable to provide an answer.