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Strategy aims to boost borough’s heritage assets
A GRAND plan to lure more visitors to Swindon’s heritage attractions and to create a scheme allowing people to see all of the museums with one ticket is being debated by council bosses.
Swindon Council’s cabinet members will be discussing a new heritage strategy tonight.
It is hoped the project will educate people about the town’s history and use its heritage assets to drive social, environmental and economic regeneration in the borough.
The Swindon Heritage Board, made up of representatives of national heritage bodies, Swindon and Wiltshire councils, Swindon Heritage Coalition and the Swindon and District History Network, have drawn up plans for the strategy.
Among the proposals are to devise a unified museum facility across the borough, create a hub for heritage attractions and to develop an ‘at-risk’ list to prioritise the key attractions.
Leader of the council David Renard, who also chairs Swindon Heritage Board, said he hoped the scheme would attract more visitors to Swindon as well as being a bonus for businesses.
He said: “Lots of businesses making investment in Swindon look at what leisure and culture services there are in the town. “Businesses don’t just look at economic factors but also take into account the environment people are living in and their quality of life.”
He said the strategy would be about highlighting all of Swindon’s heritage jewels and not just the usual places such as Lydiard House.
“We have so much on offer here in Swindon and it’s about getting that message out there,” said Coun Renard.
“Several million people live within an hour or an hour-and-a-half of Swindon so it’s about attracting more visitors to the town.
“This is a topic I feel quite passionate about.
“We need to do more, which is why we have this strategy.”
Other aims of the strategy include:
- developing the town’s reputation as a hub for heritage expertise with leading bodies such as English Heritage
- encouraging young people to engage more with the town’s history
- developing links with voluntary and business groups to establish an action plan.
The strategy will be debated at the council’s Civic Office tonight at 7pm.
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