This column has been written by Swindon Borough Council's deputy leader Russell Holland. The leader David Renard is away.

When I was at school we studied the history of Swindon and as part of a school trip we went to visit the Railway Village and also had a tour of the railway works.

That is why I am so pleased to see how the site has been developed, including the hugely successful Designer Outlet and Steam Museum which retains the feel and character of our heritage.

One of the other big projects which I am really pleased to see coming to fruition is the redevelopment of the Grade II listed Carriage Works

The first phase of redevelopment work took place in 2018 with the opening of the WorkShed, a new office space for small businesses which has been very successful.

Last year, the Royal Agricultural University announced plans for a new postgraduate and professional training hub in Swindon to increase the number of trained professionals within the cultural heritage industries.

The latest update in this exciting story is that we are to receive a grant of £4m from the Government for further investment in the Carriage Works.

This money, which has been secured through the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, is part of the Government’s £900 million Getting Building Fund, which is intended to support investment in local infrastructure projects to stimulate jobs and support economic recovery following the pandemic.

As the regeneration project continues, this funding will really help to see further positive work on this site.

The rejuvenation of the Carriage Works builds on the Council’s commitment to finding sustainable uses for its heritage sites.

It is supported by the Heritage Action Zone which is bringing both additional finance and expertise from Historic England in order to deliver improvements throughout the Railway Village, where the Carriage Works is located.

The HAZ, which launched in March last year, is a five-year scheme which will bring expert heritage knowledge and a welcome £1.6 million of funding from Historic England to revitalise this lessor known and under-appreciated area of Swindon, helping us to preserve and enhance its distinctiveness.This additional funding is part of a series of great news stories for Swindon.

We have the investment of a state of the art new office facility at Kimmerfields, a state of the art warehouse distribution to the East of Swindon and other infrastructure funding as part of the New Eastern Villages.

There is no doubt we face challenging times ahead, but our heritage is a vital part of our town’s infrastructure and combined with the fantastic level of investment in Swindon, is something to be hugely positive about.