Brunel Shopping Centre in Swindon hopes for bright future with local artists and community groups

By Sid Hayns-Worthington


Circus Performance by the Royal School of Speech and Drama. Pictured Circus Performance..21/06/18 Thomas Kelsey.

Mayerling Live in Cinema from the Royal Opera House

Dangerous desires, family secrets and political intrigues.

Swindon’s Brunel Shopping Centre is teaming up with charities and community groups to ensure a vibrant future in a tough retail climate.

Jane Stewart, The Brunel’s acting central manager explained the need to be creative with empty units.

“Where once a town centre was the destination for local shoppers, we now need to offer more in different ways to retain the position of being at the heart of the town centre and a real part of the community,” she said.

The Shopping centre recently invited primary schools to a secret pop-up circus performance to give pupils an experience of immersive theatre, courtesy of students from drama students who came up from London for the week with the help of Prime Theatre.

Jane continued: “The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama needed something central and were struggling to find somewhere large enough to accommodate the Swindon school groups they would be working with.

“We managed to reinstate power to an empty unit and provide them with what they needed, and this has now become a space used by Prime Theatre.

“Our vision is that The Brunel is more than a shopping centre; that it becomes a social space for the people of Swindon and somewhere that supports thinking beyond opportunities.”

The Brunel hosted Swindon Fringe for the first time, plus local artworks were on display as part of Swindon Open Studios and the New College end of year art show. Next month will see the arrival of Tommy, an artwork to commemorate 100 years of the end of World War One.

The team are now putting together the 2019 calendar of community events and are looking for organisations to partner with. For more information The Brunel, visit

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