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Restoration of Swindon's Mechanics’ Institute is part of the master plan
3:47pm Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
VOLUNTEERS hoping to breathe new life into the Mechanics’ Institute are delighted a new masterplan for the town centre makes special mention of their work.
Last week, Forward Swindon launched its draft Swindon Master Plan which will provide a framework for development in the town centre for the next decade and beyond.
Residents are now being invited to take part in a consultation process to share their views about the Swindon Master Plan.
Key to this is the preservation of historical buildings in the town – one of the most important being the Mechanics’ Institute.
Although empty for many years, the future of this building could soon be decided as the private company which owns it has been struck off by Companies House.
The Mechanics’ Institution Trust is hopeful that, working with Swindon Council, it will gain ownership of the building so that it can seek funds to bring it back into use.
The draft masterplan, drawn up by Allies and Morrison Urban Practitioners, said: “Where community groups exist who are actively seeking to take ownership of such buildings, such as the Mechanics’ Institution Trust, opportunities to work with those groups and secure funding for restoration of those buildings should be pursued.”
Daniel Rose, chairman of the trust, said: “We are pleased that the master plan, although in draft form, recognises our role in this building as a sustainable social enterprise.
“With its not-for-profit ethos, this building could once again become a hub for the Swindon community offering a theatre, office space, a café and much more to be proud of.”
The trust’s plans don’t just involve the Mechanics’ Institute building, but would mean the regeneration and refurbishment of the Railway Village and the surrounding area.
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