A SWINDON councillor could be rubbing shoulders – virtually – with TV and theatre stars, a dance music hero and a drag queen.

Cabinet member for the town centre, heritage and culture Dale Heenan has been shortlisted for the Hearts for the Arts awards.

Run by the National Campaign for the Arts, the accolade honours the councillors doing the best job of championing arts and culture. Coun Heenan will be judged by a panel including The Hustle actor Adrian Lester, Orbital pop star Paul Hartnoll, actor and director Sam West and drag artist Le Gateau Chocolat.

The citation for the councillor for Covingham and Dorcan said: “There doesn’t seem to be a layer of the council and the community that Coun Heenan hasn’t been involved with in advocating for the power of the arts.

“His work on behalf of artists and audiences in Swindon is so inspiring. From funding ingenious ways to keep libraries open, to getting art on tour, his inventiveness and lateral thinking is so evident.

“Coun Heenan’s ability to create partnerships, and secure investment, for major capital projects means his vision is likely to unlock real lasting change for the town.

“It’s wonderful to see the impact of his new ways of thinking on the regeneration efforts in Swindon.”