A LEISURE complex in the heart of Swindon is now taking shape ahead of a grand opening later this year.

Work started on Regent Circus in summer last year and has progressed at a steady rate, with the full shape and scale of the construction fully visible.

When it opens, the site will boast a multi-screen Cineworld cinema, a Morrison’s supermarket as well as a range of restaurants.

In a few months’ time the site will be handed over to the relevant companies for fitting out ahead of an opening at some time close to the end of the summer or the start of autumn.

James Digby, of Ashfield Land, which owns the land, said he is pleased with the progress being made and feels the opening will be a positive move for the town.

“The project is progressing well and is on target to open at some point in the autumn,” he said.

“The venues will be handed over in the summer so they can be fitted out. The cinema and the supermarket will be handed over first with all the restaurants a short time later.

“It is planned that everything will open together. It has all been very positive with everything moving forward as we planned.”

As it stands Nando’s, Coal, Ask and Prezzo are the restaurants which are signed up to fill the units. There are several still to be filled but James is confident of being able to announce new tenants very shortly.

He said: “The demand for the units has been very high and I have been pleased with the quality of restaurants which have both filled the units and shown an interest.

“We are in advanced talks with several other operators and I hope to be able to make another announcement in the near future.”

More than £50 million has been invested in the project, located on the former college site, which is hoped will lift the fortunes of the top end of the town centre.

While work on the road network is currently causing a degree of disruption, many residents and local businesses have said they believe the development will bring them huge benefit.

Earlier this year there were concerns about the level of damage being done to nearby properties after cracks appeared in a church and several houses.

Work has been carried out on the chapel and after closer inspection the cracks which have appeared in properties are not structural so contractors ISG have promised to fix them once the work is completed.