CASTLE Place shopping centre and multi-storey car park in Trowbridge could be knocked down and rebuilt as part of a massive multi-million scheme designed to act as a catalyst for a town centre revival.

They would both be redeveloped as part of a £23 million Future High Streets Fund bid being proposed by Wiltshire Council and its business partners.

The empty site would then be used to create a new gateway as part of a long-term regeneration strategy to bring more leisure, residential and cultural activity into the town centre linked to the Town Hall and St Stephen's Place.

The former Sir Isaac Pitman Wetherspoons pub would become the entrance to a new market hall as part of the FHSF bid submitted by Wiltshire Council to the government on Friday July 31.

Cllr Philip Whitehead, leader of Wiltshire Council and cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “We will know in the autumn whether we have been successful and can progress our plans to make Trowbridge town centre a more attractive place to live, work, visit and shop.”

Cllr Stewart Palmen, the leader of Trowbridge Town Council, welcomed the bid, saying it offers “exciting” opportunities for Trowbridge to speed up future development of key strategic sites within the town centre.

He said: “I am very excited by the bid. I think it’s do-able and offers a route forward.

"Under the bid, they are looking to totally demolish the multi-storey car park and Castle Place shopping centre and market hall and rebuild on the site.

"They are proposing a mix of housing, leisure and commercial retail development.

"It does make a lot more sense to have leisure and housing elements close to the town centre."

The bid includes plans to redirect traffic flows, introduce new pedestrian links and cycleways, and make the town centre run from the Innox Mills development right through to St Stephens Place.

Under the proposals, Castle Place shopping centre and market hall, together with the council-owned Castle Place multi-storey car park, would be jointly redeveloped by Wiltshire Council’s development arm Stone Circle, and Nexus Properties Ltd, owners of Castle Place and the nearby St Stephen’s Place.

The plans would include a new leisure centre to replace the existing one run by Places Leisure, with pedestrian access across the River Biss to the East Wing.

It’s possible that housing and cafes could be built fronting onto the Town Park, with tree-lined walkways between the new buildings.

Built in 1974, Castle Place Shopping Centre is home to 11 retail units with Wilkinsons as the anchor store.

There are a further ten small independent businesses operating from the market hall stalls.

The centre currently boasts 475 free car parking spaces, bike stations and ease of access to local bus routes.

Julie Davis, who has managed the centre for 29 years, said: “I think it’s a good thing. The centre is an old lady and she’s beginning to show her age."

“We’re trying to split the units, so that we can offer space without the tenants having to pay business rates.

“The Sir Isaac Pitman pub is a listed building and can’t be touched and the multi-storey car park is past its sell-by date.”