Strategy aims to boost borough’s heritage assets

Swindon Advertiser: From left, David Thackray, the vice-chairman of Swindon Heritage, Coun Garry Perkins and Coun David Renard at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery From left, David Thackray, the vice-chairman of Swindon Heritage, Coun Garry Perkins and Coun David Renard at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

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.

Comments (2)

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8:46am Wed 11 Dec 13

Wildwestener says...

Unless they are being really parochial, they should also look to partnering up with those tourist attractions that are nearby such as Avebury, The Roman museum in Cirencester, the Merchant's House in Marlborough etc. That might make businesses realise that there is more to Swindon and the surrounding area that what comes under the jurisdiction of SBC.
Unless they are being really parochial, they should also look to partnering up with those tourist attractions that are nearby such as Avebury, The Roman museum in Cirencester, the Merchant's House in Marlborough etc. That might make businesses realise that there is more to Swindon and the surrounding area that what comes under the jurisdiction of SBC. Wildwestener

5:32pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Empty Car Park says...

Trouble is that Swindon's heritage has been so disregarded by Swindon Borough Clownschool for too long.

The various leaderships have preferred to play political point scoring games for decades.

Most people are now unaware of most of Swindon's heritage or the rich cultural community that it once possessed
Trouble is that Swindon's heritage has been so disregarded by Swindon Borough Clownschool for too long. The various leaderships have preferred to play political point scoring games for decades. Most people are now unaware of most of Swindon's heritage or the rich cultural community that it once possessed Empty Car Park

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