Swindon Borough Council and inSwindon BID Company have teamed up to ensure that visitors to Swindon are kept safe this Christmas, as well as introducing £1 town centre car parking from 4pm onwards.

The Council has expanded its daytime community engagement work to encompass shopping hotspots in the town centre and at other locations across Swindon – namely, the Orbital Shopping Park, Designer Outlet and Greenbridge Retail Park.

Alongside this, inSwindon, which supports businesses within the town centre Business Improvement District, has deployed its additional special ambassadors to provide essential safety advice to shoppers and businesses to ensure the town centre is a safe and welcoming environment for everybody.

Both teams will engage with the public to promote COVID-secure shopping, offer guidance around social distancing where necessary and act as a general point of enquiry for people who may need additional support.

Councillor David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “We understand that people will want to get out and about to get their Christmas shopping done, and we fully encourage residents to head to the shops and support local businesses.”

“It is essential, however, that this activity takes place in a manner that does not compromise all the hard work we have done as a community to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

“We will be working closely with inSwindon and other partners during the Christmas period to ensure that all of Swindon’s popular retail spots are COVID-secure and that shoppers and businesses alike are able to operate in a safe environment.”

Anita Bellinger, inSwindon BID Manager, said: “We are looking forward to seeing our wonderful town bustling, with everyone feeling festive, but we also need to remain aware of the current situation. In response to this, we will be welcoming three new members to the team, who will join our existing ambassadors and will provide an increased presence in the town centre.”

“Together we can keep Swindon safe and encourage visitors back to a welcoming town centre, #ShineOnSwindon.”

With many shops planning to extend their opening hours for the Christmas period, the Council has also introduced a fixed £1 rate from 4pm onwards at its car parks. The new parking rate will be available at Brunel North, Brunel West and Fleming Way multi-storey car parks until January 2.