Wharf Green in Swindon is the first location in the South of the England to have a permanent BBC Big Screen installed.
The Big Screen project is a public broadcast facility in major towns and cities across the UK that utilises the latest in giant outdoor screen technology with BBC content, live events and interactive games.
The Swindon screen is the 9th such screen in the country. The other eight screens located in the North, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Rotherham and Derby. The state of the art screens have proved a great attraction bringing a real vibrancy and animation to the area. The combination of live events, community contents, news, sport and entertainment really brings communities together.
Wharf Green will also provide Swindon with a focal point for 2012 lead up activities, and events, that are planned once London takes over the mantle of Olympic City, not to mention the games themselves.
The large 35 m2 screen will be positioned along the North facing façade of the Brunel West car park. It is part of the re-development project for Wharf Green undertaken by The New Swindon Company, on behalf of Swindon Borough Council, with funding from central Government’s Growth Point Fund. The entire Wharf Green redevelopment project will be complete by Spring 2008.
Peter James, Chief Executive said, “Hosting the only screen in the South will propel Swindon’s image to a national level. This new development will start to create that lively bustle that has been absent for so long.”
Mike Gibbons, Project Director, BBC Live Events commented, “The BBC is delighted to be working with The New Swindon Company as part of the Public Space Broadcasting project. We’re looking forward to working with the local community to showcase the best local film and video content together with BBC programmes, local information, interactive games and big events brought to the heart of Swindon.”
Cllr Phil Young, Swindon Borough Council Cabinet member for economic development and regeneration is delighted with the news, "This is another significant step in delivering a town centre environment that the town's residents can be proud of, and supports the successful delivery of our promise to regenerate the town centre into a vibrant heart for the town and borough.”
• The New Swindon Company was formed in 2002 to stimulate investment and co-ordinate plans to revitalise the town centre as a key component to achieving sustainable economic growth.
It is jointly funded by English Partnerships, the South West of England Regional Development Agency and Swindon Borough Council. Working with its strategic partners, it will act as a catalyst for change, driving and co-ordinating major projects, harnessing public sector powers and resources to assist the private sector in delivery and attracting new investment to the town. www.newswindon.co.uk
A BBC Screen Manager, who will work with the local community and partners to develop content, will be based at BBC Radio Swindon
• over 5 million people a year see the Big Screens in action
• over 200,000 people watched Live 8 on the Big Screens in 2005 sending 356,000 texts to the screen during the day
• over 250,000 saw one or more of the World Cup 2006 football matches at the Big Screens across the country
The Regeneration Framework is targeted at delivering £1 billion total investment value, includes seven major regeneration projects for the town centre. These are:
• The Exchange & Arena– a new flagship office area adjacent to Fleming Way with provision for new homes and leisure facilities, central piazza and high quality public open spaces. AMEC have now been selected as the preferred developer for the site.
• The Promenade – home to the Council’s new library with potential for new cultural facilities.
• The Hub – expanding Swindon’s retail offer. Modus have been selected for the Regent Place development ( Granville Street car park area)
• The Arena- a mix of retail, commercial and recreational facilities to include a central piazza and creating a focal point for the town centre
• North Star Village – providing a new and vibrant residential area
• Swindon Central – bringing the railway corridor to life and offering critical access to the town
• The Campus – business development area north of the railway.