Mr Beaumont-Jones, director of the Brunel Centre, must live in a state of permanent excitement, amazed by the wonder of every dull, mundane thing he sees. Why else would someone describe the replacement of the Brunel Centre’s old, distinctive but filthy canopies with standard canopies, as seen in hundreds of town centres, in such overblown terms.
I think shoppers are going to be impressed. It’s going to transform the town centre.
It will certainly improve the appearance of the centre, but not to the extent Mr Beaumont-Jones would have us believe. The planning application shows something distinctly conventional. Even the artist’s impression — not known for understating the beauty of proposed buildings — shows, by day, an unremarkable building. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the one chosen to illustrate the Adver’s report was the more impressive night-time view. There’s been a lot of talk, from the council, the development quango and the developers, of transforming Swindon town centre. If this is an example then, when the credit-crunch-delayed transformation finally happens, the people of Swindon are going to be very disappointed.