THE renovation of the Carriage Works is a major part of the council's plan to help Swindon's economy bounce back from the blow of the pandemic.

The borough will have £4 million from the government's Getting Building Fund invested into the historic Grade II-listed site's ongoing regeneration.

The money will be combined with Historic England funding to finish off the second phase of the scheme, which will see two units in the main estate and five business units in the former bike sheds on London Street developed into something new.

A business hub was built inside one unit and the Royal Agricultural University will soon open its Cultural Heritage Institute in another.

Council leader David Renard said: "The renovation is progressing well and I welcome this extra money from government which will go towards building high quality office, research and educational space to support the existing Workshed and the Cultural Heritage Institute already in-situ at the Carriage Works.”

The buildings were part of Brunel’s Great Western Works and were once the largest carriage works in the country and will now be a key infrastructure project in the town's economic recovery.

Earlier this month, the council launched a campaign to highlight the positive steps taken to encourage investment in the town and to help businesses get back on their feet.

‘Swindon’s bouncing back’ is the message from the council and business leaders as the town begins to step up its economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.

Coun Dale Heenan, cabinet member for the town centre, heritage and culture, said: “The past few months have been difficult for residents and businesses right across Swindon, but we will see the town’s economy bounce back.

“Cranes and diggers are on-site now to build the first new state-of-the-art offices in Swindon in 20 years, and we have our fingers crossed for success in our £25m Future High Street bid from government which will revitalise the Fleming Way area, and construct a new bus station.

“Historic England and the council have collaborated on an ambitious five-year plan for Swindon's heritage which will see the Health Hydro restored to its full glory, and see visible progress on the derelict Mechanics to unlock the economic potential between the Outlet Centre and the town centre by 2025.

“There is much more going on. The opening of a new Hampton by Hilton Hotel near the train station, the refurbishment of Signal Point by Network Rail, a new £17m Premier Inn and steak house, and next month the council will publish plans for the future of the Wyvern Theatre and Swindon's Museum and Art Gallery. Swindon will be a very different place in 2030."

The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership is helping to fund the Carriage Works regeneration.

Chair Paul Moorby OBE said: “New jobs. New investment. Innovative thinking. At a challenging time, the Carriage Works provides a much-needed boost to the local economy, faith in our commercial buildings and determination to protect our heritage.

“The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership is pleased to help fund and deliver this project, as part of our regional local industrial and recovery strategy.”