New Museum & Art Gallery will put Swindon on the map

Rod Hebden
Director | Swindon Museum & Art Gallery Trust
25th October 2017

Swindon is an amazing place, with fantastic employers, a great workforce, and enviable communications, but it suffers from a poor image.

Swindon has a reputation as a cultural desert, a new town, with little cultural offering. This is far from the truth, but it is a perception which can have a real impact on getting the investment the town needs, and be a challenge for external recruitment. Meanwhile, we also have amazing museum collections, including one of the best collections of Modern British Art in the country, which are largely unknown and going to waste.

It has been shown time and time again, that iconic new museums and galleries have the potential to transform places and change how people think and feel about them. This is exactly what we want to deliver for Swindon.

Design image of the proposed new museum and art gallery

At the core of this project is our belief that Swindon’s rich heritage can inspire a brighter future for the town, using the lessons from its past.

Swindon’s distinct heritage of innovation and creativity has the potential to be transformative, creating opportunity and regenerating the town. Our ambition should be built on the great heritage that already exists. And it’s hard to think of another town where there is such a huge gap between the negative perceptions of the place and the reality of what it really has to offer.

The first step is to create a leading future-facing facility which presents Swindon as the visionary place that we know it to be. Then, most importantly, the building must become an open, democratic platform for Swindon’s communities and businesses to innovate and to address our own town’s needs, and seize the enormous opportunities we have.

In November, we’ll be submitting a bid for £12m to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), to support our ambitious plans.

The application process is hugely competitive, with an ever-decreasing fund available, but we believe that we have a fantastic project, with enormous potential to transform the town and support the South West region. 

We’ve had a lot of support from businesses already, but we’d love to hear from more of you. Please do show your support on our website, and social media channels, and request postcards for your staff to sign to show HLF your support.

And don’t forget to let us know your thoughts on how we can make the project work better for your business and employees.

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