SWINDON’S brand new museum and art gallery will revolutionize the art world and give pride of place to local artists, says the man in charge of developing it.

Art lovers packed into the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery in Old Town on Thursday night to hear the new director outline his vision for the future.

Hadrian Ellory-van Dekker, who is just 10 weeks into his new role as director and chief executive of the museum and art gallery, held a Q&A session in which he divulged his “exciting plans” that will “totally re-imagine what a museum and art gallery can be and what it can do for the local community”.

Hadrian, who previously worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Science Museum at Wroughton, has been assigned the task of managing the design and build of the new museum and art gallery and its programme of exhibitions and activities.

“Tonight is an opportunity to give a talk about my vision for the museum and art gallery,” said Hadrian.

“I didn’t want it to be just 30 minutes of me talking. I wanted it to be more of a dialogue, where people can ask questions and participate in the discussion.

“It is a way of making it clear that this is very much a collaborative process. Building a new museum and art gallery is something that will be great for the town and can deliver real social and economic benefits.”

The museum is managed by the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust, a registered charity, which is looking to create a new home for Swindon’s art collections and use its location to boost regeneration of the economy and attractiveness of the town centre.

Swindon Borough Council has pledged £5m towards the project with the rest of the estimated £22.5m build cost being raised by the Trust from grants and donations.

Hadrian said: “Every exhibition in the new museum has to have a connection with Swindon. I want to bring Swindon artist to the forefront and celebrate them.

“It is not simply a relocation project. It is about having a building that enables rather than restricts and that changes the purpose of a museum and art gallery and its role within the town.

“I’m very excited about the future. The team has worked heroically and it is a pleasure to work with such dedicated people.

“The opportunity to commission and build a brand new museum and art gallery does not come along very often and I am very grateful to be involved with it.”

The new museum and gallery will be located on the site of the old Wyvern Theatre car park and Hadrian is hoping it will be ready in time to mark the museum’s centenary in 2020.

On the night there was also a raffle to raise funds for the restoration of two paintings – ‘Night Sky 1957’ by Jack Smith and ‘Landscape’ by George Downs.