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Invest-Shop-Visit: Swadlincote

Swadlincote is the most southerly market town in Derbyshire. With its character, proliferation of independent retailers, over 1,500 free parking spaces and pedestrianised areas, there is an exciting and interesting feel to the centre of Swadlincote.

Morrison's Swadlincote

Location and characteristics

At the heart of The National Forest, Swadlincote is on the A511 between Burton upon Trent and Ashby de la Zouch, some fourteen miles south of the city of Derby. To the south of the town is the A444 which links Swadlincote with the A42 and Tamworth. It is the most southerly market town in Derbyshire. A “child” of the industrial revolution, the town centre serves a combined settlement of Newhall, Midway, Church Gresley, Castle Gresley, Hartshorne, Woodville and Swadlincote. To local people and shoppers alike the town is affectionately known as “Swad”.

South Derbyshire’s population has experienced one of the fastest growth rates in England over the last decade. New housing development has led to the rapid growth of Swadlincote in recent years and further growth of some 350 dwellings per annum is anticipated through to 2026. The town has a primary catchment area of 45,500 people and a secondary catchment of 21,000.

As Swadlincote is a centre for learning, leisure and governance there are many more independent eating and service outlets than a town of its size might anticipate. There is also a busy bus station serving the nearby towns and services also run to Derby. Swadlincote is served by the Arriva Midlands and Midland Classic bus companies and a National Express Service to London. Further travel information can be found at Traveline.

Trains from the nearby Burton upon Trent station are available to all major UK cities - Birmingham, Nottingham and Derby are all reachable within 35 minutes. With its character, proliferation of independent retailers, over 1,500 free parking spaces and pedestrianised areas, there is an exciting and interesting feel to the centre of Swadlincote.

Retail Offer

The central area comprises West Street, Market Street, High Street, Belmont Street, Church Street, Midland Road, Alexandra Road and The Delph (market square). Most of the town is presented in a modern pedestrianised shopping area with some amazing heritage architecture dating predominantly from the first three decades of the 20th Century. There are over 200 business premises in the core of the town centre. As with most modern town centres these encompass a mix of services - estate agents, banks, insurance and retail businesses. Around 170 could be described as shops, bars and the like. A visit to the core retail area could include brands such as Boots, Specsavers, the main Post Office, Clarkes Shoes together with local businesses such as Jon Paul Fashions and Lloyds Cycles. There is a good range of banks including Barclays, Santander, and LloydsTSB complementing a range of other financial services including a large branch of the Derbyshire Building Society.

Swadlincote has an open air street market on The Delph on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The town centre has been sensitively expanded to create some larger units and improve the convenience offer. A Lidl store in Belmont Street was developed almost 10 years ago and this edge of town centre retail park was extended in 2005 with the construction of larger units for Halfords, Wilson’s Pet Centre, Domino Pizza and a drive-thru McDonalds restaurant. The opening of a large Morrisons store on Coppice Side, adjacent to the High Street, occurred in 2007. It has a large easily accessible car park and a direct footway link to the adjacent High Street. Sainsbury’s have recently significantly extended their store off William Nadin Way.

Attractions and entertainment

Much of the town centre is a Conservation Area which has a celebrated history. Attractions include the unique Sharpe's Pottery Museum and café. This facility also includes the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) and conference and performance area. When the TIC is closed and the helpful staff are not available there is a 24-hour touch screen information point in West Street. The galleries are well stocked with interesting exhibits and displays chronicling Swadlincote’s ceramics and pottery heritage, especially TG Green Cornishware. A new exhibition telling 'The Story of The National Forest' has recently been added. The Museum shop has a wide range of local craftware including Cornishware items and is packed with local history books.

It also has a large bottle kiln, which not only gives the place a great atmosphere, it has fantastic acoustics, providing a 72 seater music and performance venue for Swadlincote, so Sharpe’s is a regular host of musical events. The museum is home to the Magic Attic – a very active local history archive group.

The town centre features a County Library, Adult Education Centre and Burton & South Derbyshire College's Construction and Sustainability Academy. Green Bank Leisure Centre is very central and there is abundant free parking in the eight local car parks. Off Hill Street is Swadlincote Woodlands - a former open cast site that has been transformed into 33 hectares of woodland in just ten years as part of The National Forest. Local parks are Maurice Lea Memorial Park and Eureka Park, both within a ten minute walk of the town centre.

The historic former Empire Cinema was reopened in 2007 as a ‘Smith & Jones’ branded bar and restaurant. The new edition to the town’s eating and entertainment offer was named "The Paramount" after the town’s bespoke car manufacturer of the 1950s. There are also a range of attractive family eating venues including a pizza diner and ice cream parlour in Market Street, an alpine lodge at the dry ski slope and The ‘50s American Diner’ - the largest genuine American diner in the UK.

Investment and development opportunities

There are currently only a handful of vacant properties as demand has traditionally held up well; Swadlincote is busy yet affordable, and a great base for independents and multiples alike. Opportunities can be found by searching on the council’s online vacant property database. Retail rents are competitively priced.

A major retail and leisure study for Swadlincote was undertaken in 2005. This identified opportunities for the development and enhancement of a number of significant town centre sites, including the potential for office uses, new retailing and the evening economy. The Study highlighted un-met demand from certain retail sub-sectors especially bulky goods, white goods and some clothes sectors.

Recognising the need to adapt and grow to meet new aspirations, Rokeby Developments and Peveril Securities have undertaken a major retail and leisure development in the town centre. The Pipeworks is a £15m investment on the 3.6 hectare former Hepworth pipeworks, including 112,000 sqft of new floorspace and extensive car parking. The development has attracted numerous national retailers to the town since its opening in Autumn 2011. The leisure element includes a five-screen Odeon cinema and food and drink outlets.

A Masterplan has been prepared for the town centre. This is an exciting 10-15 year package of improvements to Swadlincote's main shopping streets and gateways. The multi-million pound investment includes extensive repaving in high quality materials, tree planting and new street furniture. The aim of the project is to encourage business growth, create new jobs and regenerate the vacant brownfield sites in and around the town centre through a range of improvements that will enhance Swadlincote's historic character. Notable areas to benefit include West Street and The Delph, where the Town Hall is located, with its emblematic clock and motif: "Time the Avenger". Phase One of the Masterplan saw improvements to Church Street, Civic Way and a number of the town pedestrian walkways or "jitties". Phase Two has recently been completed with a £2.3m investment in The Delph Marketplace, West Street and Ernest Hall Way.

Contact details

South Derbyshire District Council
Economic Development Service
Civic Offices
Civic Way
DE11 0AH

Tel: 01283 595755
Fax: 01283 595760
Online: contact form

page ref: SDDC 437

Related documents

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