TGtS' 13 Highlights of 2013
Doesn't time fly? As 2013 draws to a close, TGtS has decided to get all nostalgic and take a fond look back over what has been a fantastic year for Swindon.
From regeneration and rising stars to sporting history and rapid growth - the people of Swindon have got plenty to smile about. Below we recap some of our favourite memories of the year.
Regent Circus Development
Demolition work began earlier this year on the old Swindon College site; the regeneration project is making way for an exciting new leisure and retail destination in the heart of Swindon. With names like Cineworld, Morrisons, Prezzo, Nandos, Coal and Ask already signed up, Regent Circus is set to become Swindon’s leading destination for food and entertainment.
Duke Dumont at SUJU
Fresh from scoring his first UK #1 with Need U (100%) feat. A*M*E, top DJ and music producer Duke Dumont headed to Swindon to headline SUJU's epic Easter Sunday extravaganza. Duke, real name Adam Dyment is a prime example of the level of talent that SUJU has attracted to its decks over the past year.
Radio 1 Breakfast Show Live from Isambard Community School
Nick Grimshaw was in Swindon to host the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast show as part of their Schools Tour in the lead up to Londonderry's Big Weekend. The four-date tour saw Grimmy broadcast a series of special live shows from previous Big Weekend host towns and cities - he was joined by Little Mix and Bastille as they performed at Isambard Community School.
Plans Unveiled for UTC Swindon
Swindon could once again produce some of the country’s finest engineers after the Department for Education accepted a bid to open a University Technical College in Swindon. UTC Swindon will be constructed right in the heart of the town’s rich engineering heritage with the The Railway Works being transformed into a state-of-the-art high tech college campus where students will be able to study engineering in a modern, clean industrial environment.
Link Centre Re-Opens AfterSummer Refurbishment
Refurbishments costing £2m have been completed at the Link Centre over the last 18 months. Changes have included a new roof, a swimming pool makeover and a new ice pad. The new-look ice rink, now known as the Swindon Ice Arena, was reopened to the public in August following an 11-week summer project costing £700,000.
TGtS Celebrates Annual Summer Party
Team TGtS certainly knows how to let their hair down, the gang were out in full force during the summer to celebrate the site's belated first Birthday. A host of familiar faces including clients, friends and family joined the team at Baker Street for a bite to eat and a couple of al fresco drinks in the sunshine. As well as being a great opportunity to toast all of TGtS' success over the last 18 months, the event was also a special thanks to all of the site's advertisers and content contributors for their continued help and support.
Jahmene Douglas' Album Debuts at #1
In July, Jahmene stormed straight to the top of the album charts with Love Never Fails, a compilation of soul and gospel covers. The former ASDA Walmart employee beat both Robin Thicke and Jay Z to the top spot. The X Factor star is currently recording new material for is second studio album, set for release in summer 2014. Speaking exclusively to TGtS Jahmene said "I can't wait for fans to hear the new tracks and finally introduce the REAL sound of Jahmene Douglas."
Mark Cooper Announced as New STFC Manager
In August, former AFC Telford boss, Mark Cooper was confirmed as STFC's new manager. After a successful stint as assistant to Kevin MacDonald, the 44-year-old signed a two-year deal with the club. Following Macdonald's departure in July, Cooper took temporary leadership Cooper of the club, overseeing two wins from their opening four games of the new season.
Swindon v Chelsea
In September, Chelsea played Swindon Town in the Third Round of the Capital One Cup. Chelsea last played Swindon at The County Ground back in 1994 when former Swindon manager, Glenn Hoddle managed the Blues to a 2-0 win. Despite a fantastic performance by the robins, history unfortunately repeated itself - with goals by Torres and Ramires sending the blues into the next round.
Monopoly Swindon Edition Launched
The new official MONOPOLY board for Swindon was launched in “spectacular style” on Friday 11th October at STEAM. The special event was the first time that the identities of the 22 Swindon landmarks appearing on the property sites of the board were revealed. Games Makers Winning Moves UK reported that inquiries to buy the new board have come in from all over the world including Australia, the US and Canada.
The Brunel Rooms Re-Opens
In early August, one of the West Country's most iconic clubs re-opened its doors for the first time in over six years. Following a brief hiatus, The Brunel Rooms returned to put a firm foot back in clubland. Hundreds of thousands of pounds were ploughed into transforming the disused venue into a sleek and stylish super club. Bigger and better than ever, the club promises revellers the world’s leading DJ’s and top musical acts every weekend.
Havelock Square Farmer's Market Re-Launches
Following its closure back in 2012, the highly anticipated Havelock Square Farmer’s Market made a welcome return to Swindon Town Centre in October. Organised by Fresh ‘n’ Local in association with inSwindon, the weekly market offers shoppers a fantastic range of locally sourced produce, from fresh vegetables and meats to cheeses, cakes and seasonal fruits.
£125m Investment Boosts Swindon's Mini Plant
A whopping £125 million was invested in a new range of more efficient and accurate technologies at Swindon's BMW plant ahead of the launch of the next generation of MINIs. The injection of cash was part of a £750 million investment across the BMW Group, which has safeguarded 800 jobs in Swindon and will also benefit plants in Oxford and Hams Hall.